It takes a UFC Hall of Famer to know a UFC Hall of Famer.
Michael Bisping was a no-brainer to eventually land in the UFC Hall of Fame after he retired from active competition in 2017. “The Count” had one of the more miraculous turnarounds and underdog stories in MMA history and helped put British fighters on the map. Ultimately, it all culminated in the form of the UFC middleweight title.
2023 saw another batch of legendary names inducted into the Hall of Fame during International Fight Week this past July. Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Jens Pulver, and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone were all honored during UFC 290 fight week along with the epic rematch between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald from UFC 189 in July 2015. With each name being some of the most popular from their respective generations, it got Bisping wondering whether or not we’ll ever see the inductions of Stockton, California’s finest, Nick and Nate Diaz.
“My god, of course, without a shadow of a doubt, without question,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “I say both of them. I think Nick Diaz over Nate Diaz certainly deserves to be in there. Nate Diaz, of course, is a global sensation, the win over [Conor] McGregor and the loss to McGregor, they were some of the biggest pay-per-views, and people love the guy. They love to watch him fight.”
Despite his departure from the UFC late last year, Nate Diaz is still on good terms with the promotion, appearing at an event as recently as Noche UFC in Las Vegas earlier this month. The one-time lightweight title challenger and The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner enjoyed a 15-year run inside the octagon, amassing a record of 16-11 (21-13 overall). As Bisping mentioned, Diaz’s biggest career win was inarguably his second-round rear-naked choke upset of McGregor. If he isn’t inducted for his career, Diaz will likely get in someday for one or both of his McGregor bouts.
Nick Diaz, on the other hand, enjoyed his best career success between UFC stints when he primarily fought in Strikeforce and held the promotion’s welterweight title. He defended his title three times before returning to the UFC in 2011, dominating former two-division champion and Hall of Famer BJ Penn en route to a unanimous decision win. Nick is 7-7, 1 NC (26-10, 2 NC overall) in the UFC.
One of the only things holding the Diaz brothers back at present when it comes to the UFC Hall of Fame is presumably the fact that they haven’t formally retired and insist on fighting again at some point. There’s no strict rule against active fighters being inducted, it’s just something UFC CEO Dana White has mentioned in recent years. Regardless, Bisping wants to see the iconic duo join him in history.
“They deserve to be in the UFC Hall of Fame,” Bisping said. “When 20, 30, 40, 50 years pass, 100 years from now, they deserve to be remembered. They stand out as two of the most aggressive, game, always ready, always came prepared, always in shape, dangerous in all areas, great striking, amazing submissions, and just a massive following. How could we forget about those people? I mean, if I get one of those [trophies], Nick and Nate Diaz certainly deserve one of them.
“If I’m making the choice, they’re in the Hall of Fame, simple as that.”
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This article was originally published on www.mmafighting.com