Guess what, homie? Nick Diaz is in the process of creating his own mixed martial arts promotion based out of Stockton, Calif. That means that this MMA stuff is about to get real, because Diaz isn’t a phoney when it comes to this MMA “game,” so why would his promotion, called War MMA, be any different?

I mean, think of the possibilities that a Diaz-run promotion would bring. For example, middle fingers would be an integral part of promotional material. If you feel like something is disrespectful, then flip the bird at it. (It’s a lot nicer than, say, slapping a pesky reporter, you gotta admit.) A fan wants a photo? Stick your chin out and flash double-fisted birds to appease your adoring fans. When somebody like Michael Bisping flips off a crowd, it makes the UFC look bad and he gets reprimanded for his actions, but that stuff is for punks anyway, am I right? War MMA wouldn’t play itself out like those other suckers.

Tired of getting busted for marijuana? Sign up with the ranks of War MMA, because that promotion understands that weed is medicine, bro. MMA is tough. A promotion like War would understand that a fighter needs to get faded in order to deal with talking to people at press conferences or doing taxes and stuff.

From looking at Diaz’s enigmatic, albeit enthralling career, I’m sure we all can think of our own riffs on how a Diaz-brand promotion would stand out from the rest. But all joking aside, it looks like Diaz’s promotion is on its way to fruition. According to a report from Sherdog, it could happen as soon as next month.

Perhaps the majority of its popularity would come from the fans that crave the streetwise attitude that has always kept Diaz popular (and which sometimes takes on more of a life to us than than the memories of his greatest performances in the cage). Perhaps this will be Diaz’s chance to fix all of the things that he hated about MMA when he was actively competing in the sport. He can take all of his bad experiences and ensure that his fighters don’t have to deal with all of the crap that he did. And perhaps Diaz will learn what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence.

At this point, Diaz and his associates have only begun the application process for a temporary promoter’s license with the California State Athletic Commission. It’s too early in the process to know any details on what to expect from an actual War MMA event. What we do know is that a background check on Diaz has come back clean, and that an official web page and Twitter profile for the promotion have popped up on the internet. All Diaz has to do now is complete and submit the required paperwork to be approved by CSAC’s Executive Director, and then he’ll be licensed to hold an event.

As good as the speculation sounds for what Diaz’s possible promotion could entail (or how it might change the man or his career), that fact that there is a promotion in the works points to the possibility that Diaz’s new job won’t have him returning to perform in the cage anytime soon. We’ve only seen Diaz in action twice in the last two years, and after each fight, he hinted at his desire to retire.

In February of 2011, after a hard-fought decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, Diaz claimed, “I think I’m done with this MMA.” He also made the comments, “I don’t need this shit,” and, “I don’t [want to] play this game anymore.” Granted, these thoughts came immediately after being on the wrong end of a judges’ decision, but it seemed that Diaz had lost the desire to fight his way back to contention after losing his shot at the champion, Georges St-Pierre. But neither the UFC nor GSP was willing to let such a popular fight go to waste, and Diaz was granted a title shot in March of this year after being on the shelf for over a year due to a failed drug test for marijuana metabolites that came after his UFC 143 bout with Condit.

Following a one-sided loss to the champ at UFC 158, due in large part to GSP’s dominant wrestling, Diaz was sulking about his prospects in MMA once again. “I don’t want to make excuses, but I think I might have been flat from a year off,” Diaz said. “I want to thank Georges St-Pierre for giving me the credit I feel I deserve. I think I’m done. I’m tired of getting banged up.”

At the post-fight press conference, Diaz expressed interest in a rematch with the UFC welterweight champion and claimed he was open to a superfight with Anderson Silva, but he also continued to reiterate his desire to retire. UFC President Dana White even agreed that Diaz would probably be done with MMA, but neither side left it as a forgone conclusion.

At 29 years of age, it appears that MMA’s most popular bad boy is satisfied with what he has achieved in the sport. Or maybe he’s really just grown tired of competing. Diaz came from an unbeaten tenure in Strikeforce and vacated his welterweight belt, riding the momentum of three successful defenses in the promotion to join the UFC’s ranks. Since he couldn’t capture the title from the ironclad grip of St-Pierre, it looks like Diaz doesn’t feel that the juice was worth the squeeze anymore. As if his participation in triathlons, the list of high-profile no-shows and his penchant for pot weren’t clear indicators of his wavering desire to compete in MMA, perhaps his quest to become a promoter will be the move that convinces us that his decision to retire is serious this time around.

It would be fair to say that Diaz has enough of a background in MMA to be a successful promoter, at least on the surface. He’s a former champion himself who knows how to sell a fight. Just take a look at the reported pay-per-view buys for his fight with St-Pierre, which indicate numbers close to a million. Give or take from the actual amount, it’s still a very big number that proves just how much of an attraction Diaz can be. Who’s to say that he won’t bring the same level of interest in getting people to watch events he promotes?

In Cesar Gracie, Diaz has always had a solid mentor backing him up. And that should lend to the chances for Diaz’s success as well. Gracie was one-half of the main event in Strikeforce’s historical first MMA card, so he knows a thing or two about a promotion’s humble beginnings. A California resident, Gracie was always close by to watch Strikeforce turn from a regional promotion into one of the UFC’s biggest competitors before its demise this past January. He also instructed three of its champions. Say what you will about the man, but his experience in the matter of fighters and promotions will be an invaluable asset to Diaz.

We know that Diaz has plenty of experience and momentum behind him, but really, how capable is he when it comes to actually running a promotion? Are we to envision Diaz wearing eye glasses and a green visor and breaking open the books after a long month of promoting and be the one to make all of the big decisions regarding the company?

Given his spotty history with reliability, it’s doubtful.

We’re all well aware of Diaz no-showing for two press events for his first scheduled meeting with St-Pierre, and his absence from a scheduled jiu-jitsu superfight with Braulio Estima. Or his constant disappearances from the public eye when he felt the pressure of media scrutiny becoming too much for him to handle. What will he do when his job as a promoter starts to wear on him? He does know that promoters are supposed to love the spotlight, right? If he can’t stand to do that work himself, except when it suits him, then it doesn’t sound like he’ll be an exceedingly visible face for War MMA. We’ll likely see the faces of his subordinates answering to fans and media in his absence.

It just feels like it would be a complete 180 for the former champion to change vocational hats, put on a business suit, and no longer be able to actively engage in hooligan behavior. That’s why it seems more likely that he’ll be the great face and heart of a promotion, but not actually the brain behind it.

Still, if you look at Diaz’s career, you’ll find a man ripe with the MMA world’s attention. And that’s half of the battle for a promoter anyhow.

Photo: Nick Diaz (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

David Massey
Staff Writer

David Massey studied Humanities and Art History at the University of Central Oklahoma. He first found interest in MMA from the first TUF show and has been hooked ever since. He began posting on mmajunkie then submitting Sunday Junkie entries and that began his interest in writing about MMA. Through twitter David found other MMA enthusiasts and began contributing articles to marqueemma.com. He looks forward to growing as a writer and being a part of the sport he loves.