MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Diaz vs. Bisping On Deck?

UFC-158 Nick Diaz appears to be closer and closer to a return to the Octagon, only this time at 185 pounds. According to Diaz’ friend and MMA video journalist for MiddleEasy, Michael Mardones, Diaz is interested in a fight with Michael Bisping and it’s the kind of fight that would make him come out of his quasi retirement. Bisping called Diaz out on Twitter earlier this week, despite the fact he is currently sidelined with a career-threatening eye injury. After losing to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158 earlier this year, Diaz said he was retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts. He then popped back up in the spotlight this past June, when WAR MMA, his own promotion, held its very first event in his hometown of Stockton, California. However, Diaz didn’t fight on his own card as he is still under contract with the UFC. UFC president Dana White, by the way, tweeted that he is also a fan of the Bisping vs. Diaz matchup. And so am I. The fight makes so much sense it’d be crazy if it doesn’t happen. Yes, Diaz is currently a welterweight fighter, but he has fought in the middleweight division in the past and for a big-money fight against Bisping, there’s no doubt in my mind he wouldn’t have an issue going up a weight class. In fact, I think Diaz moving to middleweight perfectly makes tons of sense. After all, he’s lost two-straight title fights at welterweight and despite his big name and drawing power he wasn’t likely to get another title shot at 170 anytime soon. If he moves up to 185, though, he would immediately jump into the mix with a win over Bisping, who is ranked in the top five of the world. Actually, a win over Bisping might be enough to garner Diaz an immediate title shot, as crazy as that sounds. Think about it. After Anderson Silva, there’s Lyoto Machida, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Gegard Mousasi and Vitor Belfort who are the top contenders at 185 for champion Chris Weidman’s belt. But Souza and Mousasi aren’t really draws, Belfort has the cloud of TRT over his head, and Machida’s fighting style makes him hit-or-miss with the fans. Diaz, though, comes to fight every time out. He comes to stand in the middle of the Octagon and bang, and that’s what the fans love. And that’s why he would be in line for a title shot if he takes out Bisping in his UFC middleweight debut. For Bisping, the fight also makes a lot of sense because it keeps him relevant in the division while the rest of the title contenders are sorted out. After all, Bisping lost to Belfort earlier this year and can’t get another title shot on the merit of that loss until Belfort gets one, so for now it’s all about the big fights for “The Count.” And that’s why he called out Diaz. It might take a lot of money to convince Diaz to come out of retirement, but it will totally be worth it when him and Bisping hype up a huge fight between each other for 2014 in London. Who wouldn’t want to see that? Everyone wants to see this fight, and that’s why White will do everything in his power to make it happen. Now, let’s just hope Bisping’s eye heals up.

Written by Adam Martin.

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