LAS VEGAS — Nick Diaz by no means has been one to carry again, whether or not it’s within the cage or speaking with the media.
On Wednesday, three days earlier than he returns to the Octagon after greater than six years away, Diaz spoke of his “resentment” towards combined martial arts, puzzled aloud why he even is competing towards Robbie Lawler on Saturday at UFC 266 and maintained his long-held disdain towards combating.
“All of the individuals round me and all the cash and the sponsors, they will not let me get away from combating,” Diaz stated in a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “There’s issues I may do, however that is not gonna work out. I’d as properly simply go and take my punches. … I do not need to look again and say, ‘Why did I not simply do it?’ I do not really feel nice. I really feel nice to struggle. I do not really feel nice about all the things [else]. If I do not do that, I do not understand how I’ll really feel about myself.”
Diaz, 38, stated throughout his time without work he had plans to open a health club and educate college students, and perhaps even journey round some and do seminars. However he stated issues did not work out with the enterprise companions he was coping with and that the plans have been “faux.” That’s what led him again to combating.
“It is simply what I do,” Diaz stated. “I attempted to get away from it, however actually it is simply type of inevitable.”
Diaz by no means has been shy about discussing his very combined emotions towards MMA. One of the fashionable fighters within the UFC, he stated he is aware of the followers are excited to see him competing once more and that he loves them. However Diaz has stated for greater than a decade that he does not wish to struggle and that point away has not modified his thoughts. Diaz has not competed since a struggle with Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in January 2015.
“I am getting in there to win,” Diaz stated of Saturday’s bout towards Lawler. “Do I really feel assured? I by no means do. I by no means have. I all the time really feel like I’ll get trashed on the market. Each struggle I’ve ever finished. ‘How do you are feeling towards Robbie Lawler?’ I really feel like I’ll get the s— beat out of me. And even once I win, I get beat up worse.”
Really, Diaz went a step additional and stated he should not even be combating Lawler within the first place. Diaz has already crushed Lawler — manner again in 2004 — and the Stockton, California, native believes he ought to truly be difficult Kamaru Usman for his UFC welterweight title. Regardless of all of the doubts, Diaz stated he nonetheless believes he is the most effective fighter on this planet. Simply because he thinks Lawler would possibly beat him does not essentially imply Diaz thinks he’ll lose.
“I feel I am going to beat the s— out of Usman,” Diaz stated. “I am going to have a greater shot towards Usman than I do Lawler, simply because I already beat Lawler. This does not make sense for me to go in and struggle Robbie Lawler once more. I do not know why I am doing this. … This could not occur. Whoever set this up is an fool. I do not know why I am doing this. I do not know why this occurred. I needs to be combating Kamaru Usman — and that is it.”
One of many issues that added to his present points, Diaz stated, was attending his brother Nate’s struggle with Leon Edwards at UFC 263 in June. Edwards gained that bout by unanimous resolution, although Nate nearly knocked him out late. Nick Diaz, who is 2 years older than Nate, stated he did not like seeing his brother taking harm in that bout after which seeing him get stitched up within the again.
“Being away for 5 years and coming again and seeing that, that was one thing new,” Diaz stated of his brother’s struggle with Edwards. “It actually type of knocked my block off. I took more durable punches watching that than I ever did in sparring or in any fights. It is my child brother, you already know? It is arduous to look at him struggle.”
Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) was winless in three fights earlier than his six-year absence. His final win got here towards BJ Penn in 2011. Even so, Diaz stays a cult favourite amongst MMA followers. He gained 11 straight at one level, is the previous Strikeforce welterweight champion and is understood for his all-action, pushing-forward type.
Diaz clearly has doubts about competing once more however added that Lawler “does not should get his ass whopped and I do know I am gonna beat the s— out of him.” Diaz stated he believes he is extra harmful now than he was six years in the past as a competitor. However that does not change his relationship with MMA itself.
“I’ve numerous resentment towards the game for taking a lot from me and never giving something again,” Diaz stated. “That is nice. They’re selling this struggle. I did not anticipate to be the primary occasion or something like that.”
Diaz stated he is simply being actual. He stated each fighter thinks comparable issues on struggle week, has comparable doubts and misgivings. However they do not air it out like he does. Diaz stated different fighters are “stuffed with s—” and that if they are not faking being joyful throughout struggle week they “have to be loopy.”
“I like to assist individuals and I like to be a part of the game,” Diaz stated. “However I do not love what it is finished to me. Particularly within the final seven months, the final two years. So yeah, I’ve obtained a shot at dragging a few of this again. So I am gonna go for it.
“I really feel like that each struggle. I am type of a darkish and dim particular person main as much as a struggle. I simply despise these people who find themselves joyful to go on the market.”