"I love him as a fighter" - Matt Brown wants to welcome Nick Diaz back to the UFC

Matt Brown (left) and Nick Diaz (Right)
Matt Brown (left) and Nick Diaz (Right)

UFC welterweight Matt Brown is willing to welcome fellow veteran Nick Diaz back to the UFC after a six-year layoff.

Diaz last competed in the UFC against Anderson Silva in January 2015 and is planning to return to competition later this year.

Speaking to Andrew Whitelaw of Sportskeeda, Matt Brown stated that he has no personal beef with Nick Diaz.

However, he added that a fight with Diaz interests him because it will be a big fight, presumably from a marketing perspective.

"I don’t think I’ve ever been close to fighting Nick... But I’d be happy to welcome Nick, you know. I just have a lot of respect for him. I love him as a fighter. I love the way he fights, his attitude, and everything. The reason I would even love to fight you, I like the guy… The only reason I want the fight is that it’s just a big fight! That wouldn’t be because I don’t like him or anything like that," Matt Brown said.

Kevin Mubenga, the longtime manager of Nick Diaz, revealed in late 2020 that his client would return to the competition in 2021.

Diaz was one of the most high-profile attendees at the UFC 262 event in April 2021 and had a conversation with UFC president Dana White to discuss a return to fighting in the UFC.

White had initially expressed his concerns over the Stockton native's return. However, in a recent interview, Dana White confirmed that Nick Diaz could fight in the UFC later this year.

Although many fighters have jumped at the opportunity to fight the elder Diaz sibling, no bout has been announced yet.

Matt Brown is set to fight Dhiego Lima this weekend at UFC Vegas 29 and the fight against Nick Diaz would definitely make sense if Brown can get past the Brazilian.

Brown and Diaz belong in the same era of mixed martial arts and a potential fight between the veterans could be a more viable option to assess where they both stand at this stage of their careers.

Nick Diaz's last fight was ruled a no-contest due to a positive drug test

Nick Diaz last competed against former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 183 on January 31, 2015. The fight marked Silva's return to competition after the gruesome leg injury suffered against Chris Weidman in 2013.

Although Anderson Silva won the fight via a unanimous decision, it was later ruled a no-contest as both fighters failed drug tests.

Nick Diaz failed the post-fight drug test for marijuana and Silva failed pre-fight drug tests for banned performance-enhancing substances.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission fined Nick Diaz $165,000 and banned him from competition for a five-year period. However, the ban was later reduced to 18 months from the date of fighting and the fine was reduced to $100,000.

Edited by Harvey Leonard

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