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Jake Shields sees teammate Nick Diaz returning to MMA

It appears at least one of Nick Diaz’s teammates feels the polarizing welterweight will fight again after prematurely retiring on the heels of his controversial loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143. Jake Shields, who has trained with Diaz for years as part of the Cesar Gracie team, echoed Gracie’s sentiments regarding Diaz’s future in Mixed Martial Arts when asked for his take on his friend/training partner’s plans.

“He’s calmed down, I think he’s gonna fight again,” said Shields to Swedish outlet Kimura. “He’s been a little burned out. They’ve been fighting him like crazy, keeping him busy. I think he needs a little break.”

In terms of why he is confident Diaz will return to the ring at some point down the road, Shields stated, “I think the time off will make him love the sport again and make him wanna get back in there.”

Diaz himself has not addressed the matter and is currently embroiled in battle to prevent his license to fight from being suspended as the result of a positive hit for using marijuana. He is expected to appeal the NSAC’s findings in a few months when the board meets.

Shields currently has his hands full with Yoshihiro Akiyama who he’ll face Saturday night in Japan at UFC 144.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/STRIKEFORCE