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03rd Jan 2017

Nick Diaz has turned down what would have been one of 2017’s biggest fights

He's holding out for gold

Patrick McCarry

You’ve got to admire Nick Diaz’s steel – coming back after an 18-month cannabis ban and expecting a shot at UFC gold.

The elder of the Diaz brothers has all his forms and contracts stamped and is on the active roster again.

It has been almost two years since Diaz last fought in the UFC – a No Contest against Anderson Silva on January 31, 2015.

The Stockton native has fought four times in five years since he made his UFC debut with a win over BJ Penn. He has not won since.

Still, with the UFC’s new owners giving big bouts to house-hold names, Diaz feels he is worthy of a title shot. He may well get it too.

Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has already told reporters he would be open to a big money fight with Diaz while Michael Bisping would surely welcome him up to middleweight and cream the pay-per-view points.

That may be why Diaz is reluctant to take a fight against Robbie Lawler. Diaz defeated ‘Ruthless’ in an all-out war back in 2004 that helped make the names of both men.

However, Joe Rogan explained on his podcast:

“Apparently they offered Nick Diaz Robbie Lawler and Nick passed on it.

“That’s the word. That’s the word behind the scenes. I wanted to see that fight. I would love to see that rematch. But I think Nick wants a f**king title fight.

“I think Nick is like, look I want a big, big name or a title fight.”

Nick Diaz must have a pretty big name or a title shot in touching distance if he is willing to turn down an event that would definitely serve as a co main event for a major PPV.

For now, it is a case of wait and see.