Following his controversial decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 last weekend, the mercurial Nick Diaz surprisingly announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, a decision that even his trainer and manager Cesar Gracie is unsure will stick or not.
Speaking with MMAJunkie today, Gracie expressed his hope and belief that Diaz will return to action, but sees the surly battler taking some time off to recharge before again getting the itch to compete.
"I think Nick will miss fighting when he's not doing it for long enough, so I do see him coming back at some point," Gracie said. "Not now, but maybe end of the year, 2013, something like that."
The idea of a rematch between Diaz and Condit had been batted around, but it appears as though Condit's team would rather go on to face Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title. Gracie actually told MMAJunkie that he understands that decision, as he had said prior to UFC 143 that he would advise Diaz to essentially do the same.
"That's fine," he said of the likely delay of Diaz-Condit 2. "I understand that. It's business. I think they want the GSP fight, and they understand that that's a very lucrative fight and it could have all kinds of beneficial ramifications for Condit. So, he's looking at it from a monetary perspective. I didn't expect him to want a rematch, and the best thing right now is to just wish Carlos good luck."
Gracie predicted Diaz will take time to run triathlons and explore his other interests before he starts feeling drawn back to MMA competition, but that he sees Stockton's Finest returning to compete in a sport that's only made better by his presence.
"What people forget is Nick is only 28 years old," Gracie said. "He's a young guy at the peak of his career. He's a polarizing figure. But whether you love the guy or hate him, you want to see the guy fight. That's the biggest thing. He's definitely not boring. He puts people in the seats, and that's the bottom line. So, a guy like that, he's going to be around, and I think the GSP fight will eventually happen someday."
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