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Nick Diaz wants Anderson Silva or Thiago Alves, now possibly boxing Jeff Lacy

Best80smovieRAD2011-04-16 13:27:38 +0000 #1

Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is not retiring from MMA. But he sees a bleak future in his division, and his manager, Cesar Gracie, is angling for opportunities outside the sport if those within it are not of interest.

In fact, a trip to professional boxing is still on Gracie's radar, and he said he's working to book Diaz on a fight sometime in the fall, possibly against former IBF champion Jeff Lacy.

That could be a possibility now that Diaz has reworked his MMA contract.

"These guys get to the point in their career where they want the big fights," Gracie today told ( ). "That's what Jake Shields is wanting. That's what (Dan) Henderson wants. They don't have to prove themselves."

In a preview of a video interview released today by "Inside MMA," Gracie said the Diaz camp had "signed on the dotted line" for a boxing match with former champion Fernando Vargas, though that match very recently fell by the wayside.

"We were talking about Vargas, but the thing is, I just came under some information that Vargas apparently has some kind of medical issue where he's not able to pass the test any more, and he could be retiring," Gracie said. "Vargas was very interested, but unfortunately, if he can't pass the test, he can't pass the test."

That shifts the focus to a match with Lacy if Diaz's foray into pro boxing does materialize. Although Gracie said this past Thursday that Diaz won't sign a new contract bearing the name of Forza, the Zuffa-owned limited-liability company to which Strikeforce fighters will belong moving forward, the principle clauses of his previous contract with the California-based promotion have been worked into the new agreement.

"We didn't sign it," Gracie said of the proposed Forza deal.

But he did get Diaz's original deal amended.

"We got it changed, so we're good," Gracie said

That, Gracie said, clears the way for boxing.

This past December, Diaz signed a multi-fight agreement with Strikeforce, which Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker previously said contained a clause that allowed him a boxing fight (though the executive believed Showtime had the right to promote it).

Diaz, meanwhile, has often complained that the promotion isn't compensating him well enough and overloads his schedule. He has defended his Strikeforce title three times in the past six months.

Gracie said Diaz could be swayed back to MMA by a trip to middleweight, whether it be in Strikeforce or the UFC. He named UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva as someone for whom Diaz would drop everything to fight. He also mentioned UFC welterweight contender Thiago Alves as an interesting challenge.

Of course, Diaz long has coveted a shot at UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. But Gracie said there could be an insurmountable obstacle in the way of that challenge: his longtime training partner Shields, whom Diaz refused to fight. (St-Pierre and Diaz headline UFC 129 later this month, and Shields would get the title if victorious.)

"[Diaz] thinks Jake will probably beat GSP, so it kind of makes a moot point of him going up (to the UFC)," Gracie said. "(He's) just kind of not happy with the landscape. He's just weighing options right now."

In any event, Gracie said he's been working directly with UFC parent company Zuffa LLC on the direction of Diaz's career. He said he hasn't spoken to Coker, who sold Strikeforce to the UFC back in March, on recent developments.

"I don't even know how much in charge of things he is any more," Gracie said. "Ultimately, it's going to have to go through the UFC, so the only people to talk about it with would be them. What am I going to talk to Scott about? He doesn't own anything any more."

Coker did not respond to a request for comment.

What's clear is that a possible Strikeforce contender such as Tyron Woodley, who's been earmarked as Diaz's next challenger, does not pass muster. And though the champion has drawn universal praise for his recent performances and made a strong case in a post-buyout world for a shot at the UFC's best welterweights, Gracie said Diaz actually has been lagging.

"People think he's better now, but he was physically in better shape then," Gracie said. "He's winning now because he's figured the game out of how to finish people quicker – how to deal with people that just want to hug you. He's not fighting a lot of wrestlers, obviously.

"He's technically better than he ever was, but from a physical standpoint, he's not in the same shape. He's just not as motivated. We're just not seeing the best Nick Diaz out there, really. He's just kind of going through the motions. He's not training as hard as he used to. It's been a problem, really."

Shamrocked2011-04-16 13:29:57 +0000 #2
Oh for the love of God PLEASE let this f*ckwagon box Jeff Lacy! The thought of Nick Diaz in a coma makes my nipples hard.
ATroms2011-04-16 13:56:50 +0000 #3

Originally Posted by Shamrocked

Oh for the love of God PLEASE let this f*ckwagon box Jeff Lacy! The thought of Nick Diaz in a coma makes my nipples hard.

... Here we just were talking about whether or not Diaz was the best welter-striker, he better learn, and learn quick how to keep his hands up and move his head or he will be annhilated in this (proposed) fight with Jeff Lacy... And even if he does somewhat tighten up his MMA loose ends for boxing, it will only be a matter of time until his instinct kicks in and the nonsense starts. He can hit Lacy with 100 body shots and it wont even take a toll. I second Sham...
Loot2011-04-16 14:02:38 +0000 #4
In the past MMA fans got riled up by boxers claiming they would dominate in MMA fights...Personally, I'm just as tired of MMA fighters spouting off about trying their hand in boxing and then never doing so.
ATroms2011-04-16 14:48:43 +0000 #5

Originally Posted by Loot

In the past MMA fans got riled up by boxers claiming they would dominate in MMA fights...Personally, I'm just as tired of MMA fighters spouting off about trying their hand in boxing and then never doing so.

Couldnt agree more... My roots come from boxing, from a viewing standard that is. And i would (still) be just as into boxing as i am MMA these days if only it wasnt ruined long ago... The James Toney vs Randy Couture fight angered me on so many levels im still fizzing. A large part of me is looking forward to just how bad Lacy would make Diaz look, i just hope it happens! Glad its not Vargas, but even if Lacy doesnt pan out, maybe Pavlik or Taylor. Total domination i tell you
Best80smovieRAD2011-04-16 15:17:44 +0000 #6
My problem with boxing is that no one is really fun for me to watch anymore unless its Paquiao or Mayweather. I haven't been following boxing much as of late, any rising stars worth checking for???



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