Less than a week after putting on an entertaining show at the “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley” MMA fight event, top welterweight fighter Nick Diaz has announced he plans on competing as a professional boxer this year. Diaz has already competed as a boxer in the past, winning his only professional boxing match by decision.
Diaz cited money as a factor in his decision to compete as a professional boxer, which is a legitimate downside of MMA. Despite the fact that full contact fighting has become more popular than boxing in recent years, MMA fighters do not get paid nearly as much as their boxing counterparts. Even big-name MMA fighters like Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva do not command anything close to the eight figure paydays that boxers like Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya receive every time they step into the ring.
Nick’s manager, Caesar Gracie, initially stated his fighter had already signed a contract to fight former boxing world champion Fernando Vargas later on this year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. When approached on the subject of a potential fight against MMA fighter Nick Diaz, Vargas indicated he hadn’t been contact by anyone from the Gracie camp. Vargas said,
“Nobody has contacted me or my team about a fight with Nick Diaz for a supposed September fight,” said Vargas. “I have not been in the gym but I have been running and keeping myself in shape. If they’re serious about fighting me then put the money where their mouth is and let’s see what they’re talking about.”
Now, Caesar Gracie is now naming another former boxing champion, Jeff Lacy, as a potential matchup for MMA fighter Nick Diaz. Gracie claims they have already signed a contract with boxing promoter Don Chargin, and are currently waiting on Lacy’s response.
While I give Diaz credit for his solid boxing skills, I’m not sure setting up fights against former boxing champions is the right decision for his career. Realistically, Nick’s chances of defeating a top level boxer in a boxing match are just a little bit better than James Toney’s odds were against Randy Couture.