In fact, according to statements released by his camp, Lacy is interested in "heading to his turf and [putting] my fist in his mouth and silencing him."
Cesar Gracie, Diaz's manager, told MMAjunkie.com this past week that his fighter had set his sights on Lacy, a former IBF super-middleweight champion, after a potential boxing match with Fernando Vargas fell apart.
"We were talking about Vargas, but the thing is, I just came under some information that Vargas apparently has some kind of medical issue where he's not able to pass the test any more, and he could be retiring," Gracie said this past Thursday. "Vargas was very interested, but unfortunately, if he can't pass the test, he can't pass the test."
They then shifted their focus to Lacy, a 33-year-old Floridian who owns a 25-4 pro record (though he's lost three of his past four, including a title loss to Roy Jones Jr. in 2009).
He admittedly was surprised by Diaz's challenge.
"Honestly, I was a little stunned," Lacy stated in the release. "Nick has accomplished a great deal in mixed martial arts and is certainly one of the best in the sport. But getting in the ring with me for a boxing match is a path he needs to be very wary of taking. I'm willing to put it all on the line anytime, anywhere."
Lacy said he'd be willing to fight in Northern California (near Diaz's Stockton home) or Reno, Nev., "for the right price."
While MMA fighters and boxers have publicly sparred in the past, boxers such as James Toney and Ray Mercer (both of whom were past their prime years) are among the few have tried MMA. To date, no major MMA star has taken on a boxing notable in a high-profile bout.
Lacy's manager, though, thinks the Diaz bout makes sense for his client.
"In my opinion, Nick Diaz has the best boxing/striking skills in the MMA game today, he's always in exceptional shape, his comfort level in the pocket and under fire is comparable to any seasoned boxing champion's, and I feel his hands are better than B.J. Penn's, who many believe is the best in the sport," rep Joey Gilbert stated.
Gracie said Diaz's interest in boxing is the byproduct by a lack of interest in the challengers of Strikeforce's welterweight division, where the champ has defended his title three times in just six months.
However, Strikeforce officials (and Zuffa LLC management) haven't discussed the possibility of Diaz getting approval for a boxing match.
"People think he's better now, but he was physically in better shape [before the title fights]," Gracie said. "He's winning now because he's figured the game out of how to finish people quicker – how to deal with people that just want to hug you. He's not fighting a lot of wrestlers, obviously.
"He's technically better than he ever was, but from a physical standpoint, he's not in the same shape. He's just not as motivated. We're just not seeing the best Nick Diaz out there, really. He's just kind of going through the motions. He's not training as hard as he used to. It's been a problem, really."
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