With the news that Nick Diaz‘s suspension for testing positive for THC is finally up, conversation has immediately turned to who in the UFC‘s welterweight division could welcome back Stockton’s finest to the Octagon.
As ever, we at #WHOATV have combed the UFC’s full roster and come up with three potential opponents to test whether the elder Diaz has what it takes to still hang with the best fighters on the planet:
WAR! What it is good for? Pay-per-views motherf**ker!
With Brown suffering back to back losses, he needs a win over a big name to regain his swagger, and boost his profile. And, despite not having recorded a win since deating B.J. Penn in 2011, Diaz is as big a name- with the exception of GSP- that there is currently outside the top 5.
More importantly however, Brown/Diaz is just one of those match-ups which simply couldn’t disappoint. Both fearless brawlers with no reverse gear, whether this bout concludes in the first or goes the distance, it’s difficult to see it being anything but a fight of the year contender, and one that deserves to headline, as three rounds just won’t do.
Cerrone put on one of the greatest shows in UFC history when he fought Nate Diaz at lightweight in 2011. Unfortunately, his decision to stand and slug it out with one of the best brawlers in the business meant he found himself at the wrong end of a unanmous decision, as well as the highest volume of strikes per round ever recorded.
Now a few years older, Cerrone appears to be a much smarter fighter. Still ‘The Cowboy’, but never the less far more tactical in his approach, mixing up his striking and grappling, and playing to his strengths. His move to welterweight does not appear to have negated his innate power, either.
A bout with this more thoughtful Cowboy could be an extremely interesting prospect, without lacking any of the fireworks MMA fans will be hoping for. The elite trash-talking would make the fight worth it on its own.
Dong Hyun Kim:
Kim has shaken his reputation as a powerful but prosaic grinder and reinvented himself as wild and untamed striker who takes more risks than are good for him. This new found recklessness may mean he will struggle to ever put together a title run, but it does make his fights among the most entertaining to watch in the division.
What could be more fun, then, than putting him in the Octagon against a man who simply won’t back off til his opponent capitulates or manages to take him out? Another potentially guaranteed barn-burner, and one that could throw up an unexpected chess matach amidst the fury should the Korean put the BJJ black belt on his back.