I was asked by a friend not too long ago who my favorite fighter is, a question that might be very easy for most of you to answer. But to me it’s a lot more than who throws the prettiest punches and who has the coolest looking kicks. It’s about who gets me to care about their fights the most, in which case it would be Anderson Silva. But a man known as Nick Diaz has always been right behind The Spider.

Diaz has always had a habit of getting you to care about his fights. Whether it was because you wanted to watch him lose or to see him involved in a crazy post-fight melee, you still cared enough to watch him in action again and again.

Over the past few weeks, talks of him making a return to the Octagon have gone around. But maybe it’s best if he just stays away from the sport for good. Those who have been following Diaz’s career closely know that he’s not very fond of the way things have become in his field of expertise. And now coming off losses in title fights, does he have a lot more to lose if he makes his comeback to the cage?

I think so.

In a sport where you’re only as good as your last fight, Diaz has definitely seen better days in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. Back-to-back losses to Carlos Condit and Georges St. Pierre have kept the former Strikeforce champ without a win in over two years.

UFC President Dana White can be quoted saying if a fighter is speaking on retirement, then they should probably get out of the game soon.

The Stockton Bad Boy’s way of grasping a hold of your attention may not have been articulate, professional, or sportsmanlike, but that also has led to him being one of the most loved/hated players in the game. For Diaz, all those run ins with lousy judges’ calls and failed drug tests likely influenced his outlook on MMA — one he said you must love to the point where you tend to hate it.

There are plenty of interesting matchups left for him at 170 that could still sell tickets. It all depends on how comfortable he is with the idea of some youngen making a name off him, a repeated pattern we’ve seen over the years in MMA.

Here’s the bottom line, Diaz should not be pressured into coming back. If he wants to continue fighting, then let it be his choice.

Lack of eating, sleeping and training for fights can ultimately be your undoing in this business. Stepping inside the Octagon on a whim can get you hurt. Or worse, it can diminish your reputation in the sport. As his training partner Gilbert Melendez put it, he needs motivation. With his younger brother falling in his footsteps of “inactivity” to firing up the company’s President, plus his training partner Jake Shields being released from the organization, it could be safe to say there is nothing surrounding this man to give him the desire to walk through the cage doors and fight again.

But as long as fans are mentioning his name — which will probably be until the end of time — the demand to see Diaz back in the fight game will always be higher than most retired war veterans who left their fight gloves behind.

While he’s said in interviews that he’s ready to fight this year, he has also made it very clear that he is only thinking about big money matchups to build up his bankroll.

At a point where the sport’s biggest names are dropping like flies, it could be now or never for the Californian to revamp his career and start working toward the top again.

But it wouldn’t surprise me to see the him step away from combat sports for good.