Nick Diaz wants his next fight to be against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Diaz is a sports legend, but with his 39th birthday in August, the Stockton hero’s best days are probably behind him.
Still, Diaz says this is a fight he can actually get motivated for and not for the first time he calls for a fight with Usman.
“[We’re] work at the end of the year. I’m just focused on my training right now,” he told TMZ when asked when his next UFC fight is.
“If I’m going to fight, I want to fight for the title… They mean I want to fight a bunch of guys and stuff like that. Well you know what? It’s a bigger fight.
“Just avoid all the mess. I don’t need to go in there and get my ass kicked by one of the young guys, anyway – and it’s not that I won’t win.
“It’s just not motivating to fight someone who is – I want to fight for the title. I’m 38.
Diaz was a Strikeforce welterweight champion in his prime. The UFC bought the rival promotion in 2011 and many of its stars ended up in the UFC when Strikeforce ceased in early 2013.
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In the UFC, Diaz challenged Georges St Pierre and Carlos Condit for the UFC welterweight title, but he came up short each time.
Other than that, he fought Anderson Silva at middleweight in 2015 and then Robbie Lawler last year. Diaz has had only four fights and no wins in the past 11 years.
And yet, he thinks he could dethrone the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC today who is on a 19-fight winning streak, including 15 in the UFC and six title fights.
“I think I will beat him. … I would love for them to give me a chance,” Diaz said.
The American made a similar suggestion last year, but UFC President Dana White was strongly opposed to the idea.
“Do you think he should fight Kamaru Usman?” White asked Yahoo Sports.
“You know what I’ve been saying lately: Kamaru Usman is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, okay? [He beat Jorge] Masvidal twice, Gilbert Burns, Tyron Woodley, [Rafael dos Anjos]Demian Maia, Leon Edwards.
“I mean, the list of guys this guy has beaten is amazing, and the way he’s beaten them.
“He is the world champion in this division and he is the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Does anyone think Nick Diaz should come back and fight after not fighting for seven years? It would be an idiot who would do this fight.
Diaz’s last outing with Lawler ended when he was knocked down by punches in the third round. When given the opportunity to get back to his feet, Diaz stayed on the ground and verbally submitted, which resulted in a TKO loss.