Nick Diaz’s teammate Jake Shields believes the older Diaz brother is showing massive improvements in training.
Diaz last fought in September 2021, losing to Robbie Lawler in the third round. The former Strikeforce champion was returning from a six-year layoff and looked to be a shell of the fighter he once was. The 39-year-old recently announced that he plans to fight again in 2023, which concerns some of the MMA community. One fan had this to say on Twitter:
“Saw something about Nick Diaz coming back. He's not gonna get Izzy like he wants, but in shape Nick Diaz is still a good fighter. He looked like the old Nick Diaz against Robbie for a couple minutes. Just clear something kept him from being in his best shape. Good luck to him.”
Shields is a close friend and longtime training partner of the Diaz brothers. He commented on the Twitter post defending Nick by saying:
“Nick now looks far better than he did when he fought Robbie”
There was a lot that went wrong for Diaz’s Octagon return. He missed weight by a significant amount, which pushed his bout against Lawler from welterweight to middleweight. In the aftermath, one of his coaches, Cesar Gracie, confessed that the older Diaz brother had two ruptured disks in his neck that limited his ability to train and cut weight. Hopefully the former Strikeforce champion will find more success in 2023.
Nick Diaz wants to fight Israel Adesanya in 2023
Most people expected Nick Diaz to retire after losing to Robbie Lawler. Yet, Diaz has announced that he wants to fight again in 2023. He could succeed against other veterans with proper training, but the former Strikeforce champion has a bigger challenge in mind. He had this to say during a recent interview quoted by MMA Mania:
“You can see me back on top in 2023, I’m making a comeback. I’m going to be quicker than ever, stronger than ever, better than ever—I’m just gonna be a whole new me. Whoever is on top at the time [I want]—preferably Israel Adesanya, if he gets his title back.”
Anything is possible when the cage door locks, but Diaz has no business fighting Israel Adesanya. The 39-year-old needs to prove that he has more left in the tank before fighting someone like ‘The Last Stylebender.’ The callout could be another classic Diaz tactic, or he might genuinely be hoping to land a big payday.