MMA legend Nick Diaz is targeting an end-of-year return to the UFC – and he's set his sights on a showdown with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
The former Strikeforce welterweight king hasn't set foot inside the octagon since his long-awaited comeback fight against Robbie Lawler last September.
Diaz, 38, suffered a third-round TKO defeat to Ruthless but plans to continue fighting, telling TMZ: "We're working on the end of the year. I'm working on it."
But the former 170lb title challenger is only interested in fighting for UFC gold.
He said: "I don't need to go in there and get my a** whooped by one of them young guys anyway, and it's not that I won't win.
"It's just I'm not motivated to fight somebody [that's not a big name].
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"I wanna fight for the title. I don't wanna do all this — I'm 38 years old."
Fan favourite Diaz hasn't tasted victory in nearly 11 YEARS but is confident of getting the better of pound-for-pound king Usman.
He said: "I think I'll beat him. Either way."
The eldest Diaz brother then sent a message to The Nigerian Nightmare, saying: "I think I can beat you. I'd love it if they give me a shot. I think I can beat you."
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Diaz looked a shell of the fighter MMA fans around the world fell in love with in his UFC 266 rematch with Lawler – which he took on the back of a SIX YEAR lay-off.
UFC president Dana White was impressed by the BJJ whizz's performance but would like to see him call it a day.
He told ESPN late last year: "Regardless of how good he looked [against Lawler] or what he did after such a huge layoff, I don’t think Nick should fight.
"It’s not that I was in favour of it. He’s a grown man and can do whatever he wants to do.
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"I just don’t think that Nick does it because he loves it. I think Nick does it because he has to do it.
"I don’t know, man. People always ask me, ‘What’s the key to success?’ It’s all about being happy and doing what you love."
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