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Nick Diaz back in the gym, wants to fight Anderson Silva

The words fans have been waiting to hear since early February have finally surfaced – Nick Diaz has decided he wants to continue fighting rather than remain retired. The 28-year old announced he was done with MMA after a controversial decision loss to Carlos Condit costing him a shot at UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre’s title. However, with a few months to reflect on things it looks like he’s ready to return to the cage and will do so when his marijuana-related suspension runs out in early 2013 (if not sooner).

The good news came by way of Diaz’s manager/coach Cesar Gracie who took to GracieFighter.com to write, “For the last couple of months I’ve watched Nick begin to frequent the gym more and more. He’s training harder now than he has for many of his fights. It was obvious that training and fighting is in his DNA. It is who he is.”

“This week we had a great talk and he made it clear to me that he is ready to get back to the cage. Nick Diaz will return,” he stated, summing the situation up.

With St-Pierre off the table Diaz has set his sights on another divisional champion in the form of Anderson Silva. While the match-up may seem unlikely on the surface, Silva has recently expressed a desire to participate in “big money” fights and Diaz’s style/fanbase would certainly create such a scenario were they to face off in the Octagon.

“Nick has stated that he would like to take fights ‘that matter’. Since GSP will be fighting Condit, he has to look elsewhere. He will respectfully ask for a fight with Anderson Silva, a fighter he respects and would like to challenge,” explained Gracie. “Silva’s camp has been speaking of a fight with GSP, possibly even at a catch weight. Nick will take that fight in a minute but has told me that should Silva decide not to drop at all, he will move up to 185lbs to face the Champ.”

Gracie closed things out by saying he was meeting with UFC President Dana White in August to discuss Diaz’s return and urged fans to show their support online.

The complete statement from Gracie can be found below:

It’s been a trying time these last 4 months as I have been faced with the prospect that one of our team’s most talented fighters had decided to leave the sport. As a fan I’ve always admired what both of the Diazs brought to the cage; a combination of technical brilliance and raw violence.

Nate Diaz has finally put his game together and found the formula to propel him to the top of the 155lbs division. To see Nick leave at the top of his game was difficult.

For the last couple of months I’ve watched Nick begin to frequent the gym more and more. He’s training harder now than he has for many of his fights. It was obvious that training and fighting is in his DNA. It is who he is.

This week we had a great talk and he made it clear to me that he is ready to get back to the cage. Nick Diaz will return.

To address the NSAC suspension, I will say that we have appealed to the courts and if things go our way, it will be plausible that Nick could return as early as sometime at the end of this year.

For too long NSAC bureaucrats have acted with malicious incompetence towards the fighters. We will challenge them in court.

As far as future opponents, Nick has stated that he would like to take fights “that matter”. Since GSP will be fighting Condit, he has to look elsewhere. He will respectfully ask for a fight with Anderson Silva, a fighter he respects and would like to challenge.

Silva’s camp has been speaking of a fight with GSP, possibly even at a catch weight. Nick will take that fight in a minute but has told me that should Silva decide not to drop at all, he will move up to 185lbs to face the Champ.

I will be meeting with Dana next Monday August 6th to discuss this and other issues. If you appreciate Nick’s fighting style, please let Dana know that you want Nick back ASAP.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

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