Nick DiazPrior to 2012, UFC welterweight Nick Diaz had taken to the cage at least twice a year for more than a decade. However, a yearlong suspension for marijuana use last February put the polarizing pugilist on the shelf where he’ll sit until March 16 when he meets champion Georges St-Pierre in the main event at UFC 158. While the time off could be seen as bad for a fighter used to activity, Diaz recently explained it wasn’t necessarily a negative thing after traveling such a rigorous road in his career.

“I don’t feel I’ve ever been able to make it to 100 percent leading up to a fight. All of these fights I’ve had in the last couple years have all been pretty back to back. I don’t feel like I’ve ever been 100% and healed up before I started my training for the next fight,” said Diaz earlier today at a promotional press conference. “It’s nice to kind of heal up for a while and take a step back and see what’s what.”

Though Diaz may be feeling refreshed, he isn’t necessarily planning to have an extremely busy 2013 either. In reality, he’s not even looking past St-Pierre, admitting, “I’m just taking it one fight at a time.”

Prior to being suspended Diaz decided to retire from MMA, expressing disgust with the scoring in a clash with Carlos Condit. With St-Pierre’s propensity for outpointing opponents, it seems possible the former Strikeforce title-holder might opt out again. While his future beyond the bout with GSP is unknown, Diaz reassured fans he’s appreciative of the opportunity he received and isn’t looking to call it quits as long as the UFC continues feeding him interesting foes.

“I didn’t think I’d be getting this fight. I figured they’d probably stick me with some hard fights for a while and I’d have to work my way back to the fights I want and the things I want. They way I looked at it I needed some time to see things out,” stated Diaz. “But I’m a fighter, and you if you give me the right fight, I’m going to be fighting.”

Video of the press conference can be seen below: