Nick Diaz (Pictured) is no Alistair Overeem. While the latter will receive an immediate title shot once the heavyweight returns from his testosterone suspension, Diaz will have to prove his mettle against an elite welterweight before he challenges for the belt when his marijuana ban is lifted.
“When Diaz gets off suspension, he’ll probably fight one of the top guys at 170 pounds,” UFC president Dana White stated during Wednesday’s conference call. “Then we’ll see what happens.”
After losing an interim title bout to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, Diaz was granted an immediate rematch to avenge the unanimous decision defeat. However, just before White could solidify the sequel, the Nevada State Athletic Commission discovered marijuana metabolites in Diaz’s system for the second time in five years.
Mr. 209 was issued a one-year ban. Diaz is eligible to apply for relicensing in early February 2013.
In the meantime, reigning welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre will look to unify the crown against Condit at UFC 154 in November. According to the trusty rumor mill, if GSP is triumphant in his long-awaited return, he will then battle middleweight champ Anderson Silva in an epic super-fight.
The blockbuster bout would take place at a catchweight, probably 178 pounds, so both icons would remain champions after the shootout.
With Diaz coming off suspension in February, it is assumed he’d take a fight around that time. If he’s victorious, the timing would be just right for Diaz to finally challenge St-Pierre for his hardware after the Silva scrap (assuming Condit doesn’t throw a monkey wrench into the plans, of course).
Despite the fact both combatants have been sidelined for quite some time, the 170-pound tango is another box office bout that is still in high demand.
“A lot of people still want to see that fight,” White said of GSP vs. Diaz.