If Nick Diaz (Pictured) follows through on his threat to retire from mixed martial arts, it would mark the most ridiculous thing Dana White would have ever witnessed during his tenure as UFC president. On the flipside, we are talking about Mr. 209, the same man who threw away the opportunity of a lifetime because he didn’t want to attend “beauty pageants” and promote his blockbuster pay-per-view bout against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
A professional athlete’s window to earn a substantial income is very small. Feel free to subtract several years from that timeline if you’re an MMA fighter. White claims to understand Diaz’s frustration, but he would be baffled if the former Strikeforce champion opted to walk away at this point in time.
“I think that if he retired, it’d be the most insane thing I’ve seen in my life,” White stated following Tuesday’s press conference. “The kid, right now, is at the pinnacle of his career. As far as his talent goes, as far as being a well-rounded fighter – he’s mean and nasty and people love him and his popularity has never been bigger.
“He’s right at the point where he could get a huge fight. It would be insane, but who knows?”
The box office bout White is referring to would clearly involve St-Pierre. Most pundits believe Diaz poses the greatest threat to GSP’s once-untouchable title.
However, many obstacles would have to be cleared before the sport’s most anticipated 170-pound affair comes to fruition. St-Pierre’s surgically repaired right knee has to heal, and once it does, he would first need to unify the crown against interim champ Carlos Condit.
Diaz, meanwhile, must clear up his sticky icky marijuana predicament with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. If his appeal proves successful, the 28-year-old’s potential year-long suspension would be lifted and he could return to action immediately if he so chooses.