Cesar Gracie: The UFC wants to sign Nick Diaz, but there’s a problem

Team Cesar Gracie - Nick, Cesar, Nate, Jake and Gilbert

During an interview Wednesday on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Nick Diaz‘s manager, Cesar Gracie, explained why the current Strikeforce 170-pound champ decided to re-sign with Strikeforce rather than go to the UFC where there is more competition for him at welterweight.

Gracie said he was getting calls from the UFC saying they were interested in signing Diaz once his contract was up with the Strikeforce.

Although the competition and likely pay, would be better for Diaz if he went to the UFC, Gracie explained a couple reasons why the Stockton brawler will not be signing with the UFC anytime soon.

First reason, Jake Shields. Second reason, Nathan Diaz.

Nick’s brother Nate and long-time training partner and friend Jake Shields both fight in the UFC’s 170-pound division and both are part of Team Cesar Gracie.

Shields has been close friends and training partners with Nick for years and both of them have stated they would never fight each other. And as far as Nate Diaz is concerned, what is Nick going to do, fight his own brother? It’s not going to happen.

That’s not how they get down in the 209.

Gracie explained:

“The biggest thing is that Jake Shields, that would be so disrespectful. If you look at the career of these guys, they’re teammates, Jake Shields, Nathan Diaz and Nick Diaz. Nick moved down to 160 in Elite XC because Jake Shields wanted 170. So you had Nick running around like starving guy at 160, and if he moves over to the UFC, well Jake just signed with the UFC and he’s fighting for the title. Who’s he going to fight, Jake? Ok, who’s next, Nathan? He’s going to fight his brother? Then after that we’ve got David Mitchell, Daniel Roberts is in the UFC winning now. And then we’ve got Almeida and Matt Serra. It’s kind of like we’re pretty deep in that division with the Gracie guys. As much as he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre and whomever. I don’t think anybody else is even in his class. … So it’s kind of a problem, it’s like his brother and main training partner are at 170 in the UFC. It would cause a situation for sure.”

Gracie did go on to say the contract Diaz signed with Strikeforce is not long term and denied a report that said it was for three years, saying that three years is more than double of what it actually is.

Gracie said there are a couple of scenarios in which Nick could return to the UFC one day, and although he did not specify what those scenarios are, it is safe to assume it would involve some changes in weight class.

For now though, Gracie says they have a very good contract with Strikeforce, “They treat Nick very well. The terms of the contract are favorable, and as a manager, I’m happy with the contract.”

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