Nick Diaz's expected attendance at UFC 261 fuels rumors of a Jorge Masvidal confrontation

Nick Diaz (left); Jorge Masvidal (right)
Nick Diaz (left); Jorge Masvidal (right)
Johny Payne

Nick Diaz has been in Jacksonville, Florida all week and will likely be in attendance at UFC 261. Nick's expected attendance at UFC 261 has in turn fueled rumors that a potential confrontation between him and Jorge Masvidal could take place after Masvidal's UFC 261 fight.

MMA legend and UFC icon Nick Diaz has taken to his official Twitter and Instagram accounts to post photos of himself, with a rather intriguing statement attached to the posts, hinting at a potential comeback.

The statement attached to Nick Diaz’s social media posts read as follows:

“A gentlemen never tells.”

Needless to say, this has led to speculation regarding the reason behind Nick Diaz potentially attending the UFC 261 event. Certain sections of the MMA community believe that the older Diaz brother could be in attendance at the event to call out his younger brother Nate Diaz’s rival Jorge Masvidal after Masvidal’s UFC 261 main event fight.

Others feel that Nick Diaz’s presence at UFC 261 could indicate that he and the UFC have finally reached an agreement for his long-awaited comeback to the octagon. Fans of the Stockton 209 legend believe that Nick could be at UFC 261 to reveal his comeback date and opponent.

On that note, the combat sports world has been set abuzz with discussions regarding which fighter could face Nick Diaz if he does indeed return to professional MMA competition this year. Frontrunners on the list of potential opponents for Nick include names such as Jorge Masvidal, Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler.

Some have even gone as far as suggesting that Nick Diaz should fight internet personality and up-and-coming boxer Jake Paul in a professional boxing match. Paul had previously called out Nick’s brother Nate Diaz. Jake Paul and Nate Diaz were recently involved in a war of words against one another on social media.

However, the consensus is that Nick Diaz’s return to professional combat sports competition will likely see him return to the sport of MMA and fight experienced competitors, rather than return for a pro boxing match against a relatively inexperienced fighter like Jake Paul.

Nick Diaz is expected to be in Nate Diaz’s corner for Nate’s UFC 262 fight against Leon Edwards

Nate Diaz (left); Leon Edwards (right)
Nate Diaz (left); Leon Edwards (right)

Nate Diaz is set to fight Leon Edwards in a five-round welterweight bout that will serve as the co-main event of UFC 262 (May 15th, 2021). This will be the first non-title five-round co-main event fight in UFC history.

Nick Diaz is expected to be a part of Nate Diaz’s corner for Nate’s all-important clash at UFC 262. The winner of the Nate Diaz vs. Leon Edwards matchup is likely to receive a shot at the UFC welterweight title.

Currently, Colby Covington is next in line to fight the winner of the UFC 261 welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. The winner of the Nate Diaz vs. Leon Edwards matchup will likely face the winner of the Covington vs. Usman/Masvidal matchup.

Nick Diaz’s last MMA fight witnessed him face fellow combat sports legend Anderson Silva at UFC 183 (January 2015). The fight ended with Silva defeating Diaz via unanimous decision. Nevertheless, the fight’s verdict was later overturned from a unanimous decision win for Silva to a No Contest (NC).

Both Silva and Diaz failed drug tests in relation to their UFC 183 fight. Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone, whereas Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites. That was the third time Nick Diaz had tested positive for marijuana in his MMA career.

In September 2015, Nick Diaz was handed a five-year suspension and fined $165,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). This caused widespread outrage in the MMA world, with a large majority of fans and experts demanding justice for Nick Diaz and criticizing the powers that be for what they opined was an undeservingly harsh punishment for Diaz’s marijuana usage.

In January 2016, Nick Diaz’s suspension and fine were both reduced to 18 months and $100,000 respectively. Presently, Nick Diaz is eligible to compete in the sport of professional MMA. Furthermore, late last year, Nick Diaz's manager claimed that the legendary fighter would be returning to the octagon very soon.

UFC 261 (April 24th, 2021) will take place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. It will be headlined by a UFC welterweight title fight between reigning champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Jorge Masvidal.

Edited by James McGlade
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