Underground Blogger Jack Brown is "The Part-Time Martial Artist," offering a full-time fan's perspective on UFC and major MMA news, developments, or hypotheticals. He earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do a decade ago from Joe Rogan's teenage alma mater Jae H. Kim in Boston, and currently trains at Lauzon MMA.
In his fifth blog, he lays out who Nick Diaz could fight next, given that UFC President Dana White unequivocally shot down the idea of matching Diaz with Anderson Silva.
"I can tell you this, not theoretically – Diaz/Anderson is not going to happen," White said. "That's just ridiculous."
"(Manager Ceasr Gracie) would have a better chance of convincing me, I don't know, to get hair plugs."
"Nick Diaz makes no sense. I know that sounds fun. Yeah! Throw Nick Diaz in there! If you really look at the thing, Nick Diaz just lost to Condit at 170, so that gives him the opportunity to move up to 185 and fight the pound-for-pound best in the world? In what f------ universe does that make sense?"
If not Anderson Silva, who else could Diaz fight next?
Let’s imagine that things sour between Zuffa and Diaz. It’s happened before. As a result Diaz doesn’t get totally cut, but he somehow gets moved over to Strikeforce to try to regain his welterweight championship. And this would mean that Diaz would fight current champ Nate Marquardt. Marquardt, also existing in a sort of banishment, has a very active style and he’s more likely than most to engage Nick inside of the cage as well as outside of it. Since Marquardt is best buds with GSP and a number of other Greg Jackson fighters, I’m willing to bet that these guys don’t like each other very much.
This would be one of a number of interesting rematches for Diaz, but it would mean that Diaz would have to completely fall out with Zuffa, and then choose to sign with Bellator. It’s an unlikely scenario at best, but these two had an electric opening round in their first fight. During Diaz’ recent run, Daley was the only opponent to have him in serious trouble. Daley’s big mouth and bigger left hook could definitely continue to cause problems for Diaz. Bellator, and maybe by then, Spike TV, would have their top-grosser by far.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller
This is an obvious one, but a long shot because Mayhem’s retired and doesn’t seem likely to be welcomed back by Zuffa anytime soon. Still, this might be among the top five potential match-ups for Diaz in terms of fan interest. And that means money. Ever since Mayhem interrupted Jake Shields’ victory speech, during the Strikeforce event on CBS back in April 2010, and then got “beat down” by Nick Diaz and the Scrap Pack in the cage, this fight has been fun to discuss. Whatever weight, whatever organization, both fighters have enough fans and haters alike to make this a big fight.
Another rematch, but also another long shot, Karo Parisyan is not with Zuffa nor has he been even moderately successful in recent years. Once an extremely exciting, successful, and popular fighter in the UFC, Parisyan beat Diaz via split decision back at UFC 49: Unfinished Business. After that it always felt like these two still had unfinished business in the octagon, but their paths have yet to cross and likely never will.
Another rematch, but a very plausible one, Penn and Diaz initially seemed to make peace after Diaz’ one-sided decision victory over BJ at UFC 137. Yet not too long after that, BJ and his camp started taking issue with how Diaz had chosen to fight and they criticized his style. If Penn wins his upcoming fight against Rory MacDonald at UFC 152, this rematch might make sense. Though a rematch against Jon Fitch might make more sense for Penn, Fitch’s style is not one that the fans clamor to see. Penn vs. Diaz 2 could definitely headline a card.
Similar to the fight with BJ, this is a rematch that might actually happen. Diego holds a unanimous decision victory over Diaz, but that was way back at the TUF 2 finale. Both fighters have continued to be exciting and their popularity and success have only grown since they first met. Though it’s still not clear how committed Sanchez is to staying at 170, the mean mugs with these two at the press conference (if Diaz shows) and the weigh-ins just might be unforgettable. The fight might be pretty good too.
Martin Kampmann/Johny Hendricks
These two are rumored to be fighting in a number one contender’s match at UFC 154. Both fighters have been successful recently and could threaten Diaz in a fight. They also both bring it standing. Kampmann is an accomplished striker who is also dangerous with his submissions. Hendricks is a wrestler who prefers to use his punching power. It’s some of the deadliest in the division (Ask Jon Fitch). While both would be worthy opponents for Diaz, neither has a significant history with Diaz nor do either yet possess the name or charisma that would make the fight a huge pay-per-view.
While Hardy has not beaten the quality of fighters that Diaz has, he did fight for the title and he had a big win over Duane Ludwig in his last fight. More importantly he may equal Diaz in terms of popularity and charisma. While Diaz is more of an antihero, Hardy likes to play the intellectual punk. He also loves to stand and bang. So these two styles may make this fight in more ways than one. It could definitely headline a card and many fans would be tuning in to see one of their favorite fighters lose.
Koscheck, despite getting beaten up by GSP, is still near the top of the division. He also may be one of the top five fighters that fans would love to see get beaten up even more. Koscheck seems to thrive on negativity and that is certainly something that Diaz could bring to his door. I dare Koscheck to whisper things in Diaz’ ear like he did against Paul Daley. Neither Dan Miragliotta or anybody else would be able to stop Diaz from destroying Koscheck after the bell. This would be a fun one for sure.
This match-up is the real wild card of the bunch. We’ll know a lot more about MacDonald once he faces Penn at UFC 152. If he beats Penn, or actually manages to stop Penn, or even, possibly, crushes Penn, then MacDonald will be ready for Diaz. MacDonald has shown that he has some of the things that make fighters like Anderson Silva and Jon Jones so unique, but he still hasn’t had that many fights. He did soundly beat Diaz’ younger brother, Nate, but MacDonald just seemed so much bigger in that fight. He may still be growing too, and that could be very scary for Diaz and very entertaining for the fans.
This was supposed to be Diaz’ next fight, but that was before his suspension for marijuana metabolites. Condit’s controversial unanimous decision victory over Diaz at UFC 143 was a difficult pill to swallow for Diaz, Cesar Gracie, and many of the fans who thought that Condit spent the fight evading Diaz rather than fighting him. Condit’s reputation prior to their fight was actually that of a very active and exciting fighter who many thought would be just as aggressive as Diaz. Perhaps, in their rematch, Condit would feel compelled to prove himself and then we would all see the fireworks that we had expected the last time. This hope is what would make the fight a must-see.
This is the one that we all thought we were going to see. Then we thought we weren’t. Then we thought we were again, and so on. Now it looks like Condit and GSP have to fight before we can see Diaz take on either one of them. No matter when it happens, Diaz and GSP is likely to still be highly anticipated. Can GSP neutralize Diaz by taking him down? Or will Diaz use his BJJ to threaten GSP on the ground? Can Diaz outlast GSP standing? Or will GSP actually outlast Diaz? Who knows? That’s what we want to find out. So much has already been said between these two. All they have left to do is fight.
Nate Diaz – Ever since Cain and Abel, the concept of two brothers fighting each other has disturbed and captivated the masses. Nick and Nate seem to be as close as two brothers can be - training together, cornering each other, and mirroring each other in so many ways. Still, they’ve probably fought in private many times before and they’re likely to be continuing to push each other in the gym further than any other siblings can. So would this really be such a stretch? Nate has fought at 170 before, and Nick is not a huge 170. Of all the fights here, Anderson Silva included, would there be one any more talked about or anticipated than this one would be? I don’t think so.
Get at me with your comments and complaints on Twitter – @jackjohnbrown