If Nick Diaz would consider coming out of retirement, Demian Maia would love to be the first to welcome him back to the Octagon.
Maia, who is 3-0 at welterweight, wants to continue working his way towards a UFC title shot, but there aren't many top contenders currently available for him to fight.
Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald are all scheduled for upcoming fights. The only plausible opponents for Maia at this point are Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. When asked who he preferred as his next opponent, Maia's manager, Eduardo Alonso, admitted it would be an honor to fight Diaz.
MMA journalist Ariel Helwani broke the news on Tuesday during an appearance on UFC Tonight:
I spoke to Eduardo Alonso last night, and they're kind of anxious to get back in there, and more importantly, they want to know who they'll be fighting next. I asked him, 'Is there anyone out there that interests you?' He said, 'Well, we're not really quite sure what Nick Diaz is thinking or if he'll ever fight again, but for us, it would be an honor to fight Nick Diaz.' They have a lot of respect for him, and they think that fight would generate a lot of buzz.
A potential bout between the two Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts would be highly anticipated.
Maia is by far the most accomplished jiu-jitsu artist in the welterweight division, but it would be nothing short of amazing to see him lock horns with Diaz on the ground.
Unfortunately, the bout may never come to fruition if Diaz keeps his word and remains retired. Diaz, who announced his retirement from MMA after losing to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158, is expected to hang up the gloves for good, unless he either receives a rematch or super fight with Anderson Silva.
During an appearance last month on The MMA Hour, Diaz's coach and manager, Cesar Gracie, stated that Diaz isn't interested in fighting up-and-comers. He would like to see Diaz assume a similar role to MMA legends Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort, who bounce around divisions taking whatever big fight is available.
A bout with Maia would certainly be a big fight for Diaz, but will it be enough to convince him to come out of retirement?