Cesar Gracie student Nick Diaz was contemplating a boxing career before signing with the UFC earlier in the year. Diaz’ plan was to face former IBF super-middleweight champion Jeff Lacy towards the end of 2011, but the Ultimate Fighting Championship was able to bring him in with an offer to face current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 137.
To the disappointment of many MMA fans around the world, Diaz’ failure to attend consecutive press conferences ended up costing him the title shot. WEC import Carlos Condit was moved up to the title fight, while Diaz was sent down to the main event against BJ Penn. Given how things have turned out, Diaz is no longer sure putting his boxing career on hold was the right choice.
“If I had my chance to do it over again, I would have gone back to the boxing contract,” Diaz told USA today. “It would have paid me more money… Later on, I’m sure they would have had me back here. I would have made plenty of money in boxing and would have made plenty of money later coming back. It definitely would have worked out if I had done what I set out to do and just gone to pro boxing for awhile.”
Diaz won his professional boxing debut in 2005, winning the four round encounter via unanimous decision. Diaz is certainly one of the better boxers in MMA, but even a skilled puncher like him would have his hands full against a seasoned boxer like Lacy. Diaz can get away with little things like not moving his head in MMA, but the sweet science is an entirely different beast.
Diaz is right about the making money part, and I’m sure a fight between him and Lacy would be an easy sell. I don’t think Diaz made the wrong decision by signing with the UFC though. The only wrong choice Diaz recently made regarding his fighting career was failing to show up at his scheduled press conferences. Besides, he’ll probably still get a shot at the title if he beats BJ Penn at UFC 137.