For Ryan “The Lion” Diaz finding his fighting feet means restarting from the ground up. The Canadian-born MMA fighter hasn’t stepped into the ring in a year and a half and is back at Tiger Muay Thai to see if he can return to his passion.

“I am debating fighting again,” says Diaz, who now lives in Arizona and has a 13-13 record. “I want to see if my body and my mind can take it. I have a fighter mentality and that is almost impossible to give up.”

A couple of self-described “heartwrenching” fights along with a viral infection that left him bedridden in 2010, turned Diaz away from fighting – something he’s loved before MMA was even a household name.

“I’m an old school guy,” explains the King of the Cage World and Canadian champion. “We used to fight for $200 on three days notice. I would fight guys three weight classes up. We didn’t care about records. We fought because we liked to fight. MMA wasn’t even a word we used back then.”

For Diaz, it’s his love of entertaining that pushes him to try again. He says he’d rather lose an entertaining fight than win a boring one.

“I like to push the pace,” explains Diaz, who will be at TMT on an off until the beginning of February. “Nowadays a lot of guys fight not to lose instead of fighting to win. They play the safe game. I’ll stand in front of anyone and bang.”

Whether or not Diaz makes it back into the game remains to be seen, but his motivation to do so is clearly high.

“Sometimes when you sit at home sore, you wonder why you’re doing this. I tell myself that I started something that I want to finish. When I became the world champ four years ago I felt I was on top. I didn’t feel like anyone could touch me and I want that feeling again.”