By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Earlier this month Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz went on a rant about not seeing a future for himself in the sport and his feeling that he’s not paid enough for what he’s doing in the sport. In addition, his head trainer and manager Cesar Gracie let it be known that they were looking to have Diaz’s next fight be in boxing in 2011.
UFC President Dana White said on Wednesday he plans on meeting with Diaz after this weekend’s UFC 129 event in Toronto to discuss the contentious welterweight’s next move.
“What I’m going to do is I’m going to sit down Nick,” White said. “I like the Diaz brothers. I’m going to sit down with him and figure out what he wants to do.”
“I’m going to sit down with Nick Diaz, literally, after this fight and try to figure out what’s next for him.”
White confirmed that Diaz is within his contractual rights to take a fight in boxing, saying matter-of-factly, “It’s in his deal that he can do it, absolutely.”
White’s goal is to figure out what Diaz is attempting to gain with the talk of moving to boxing, and wants to figure out a way to make things work with the often hot-headed and erratic Strikeforce Champ. With him being in Toronto this weekend in support of his brother Nate, who fights on Saturday’s card, White’s hoping to get things taken care of in short order.
“For the last 10 years, I’ve dealt with the craziest, the cruelest, the baddest, the this, the that, and I’ve always tried to make everybody happy,” said White. “You can’t make them all happy, but you can try.”
Penick’s Analysis: I think this is all going to depend upon how important Diaz winds up being in the UFC’s eyes. If they feel they really want him to be in either the Strikeforce cage or inside the Octagon, they’ll make a few concessions for him and find a way to make him happier than he is in order to get him back in the cage. If they feel he’s being unreasonable or becomes too much of a hassle to deal with than they won’t make those same concessions and it will be a different situation entirely. There’s no way to know how things will work out when they do talk, if it even actually does happen this weekend, but hopefully a few weeks removed from his last fight Diaz will be in a better state of mind about the whole situation. Fans just want to see him fight, and they want to see him fight in the arena in which he’s wowed them many times over. That’s not the boxing ring.