Nick Diaz’ comeback fight against Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 has garnered mixed reactions from the MMA community, with some people saying he didn’t belong in the octagon against ‘Ruthless’ and others — such as UFC president Dana White — crediting the Stockton local for putting on a great fight after his six-year layoff.
Reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman thinks Diaz did a ‘great job’ against Lawler despite losing the fight via TKO but thinks the UFC veteran needs to be smarter about picking his opponents.
“He has to fight a fight that makes sense for him,” Usman told MMA reporter Helen Yee in a recent interview (h/t BJPenn.com). “That was an entertaining fight. Being out for over six years, It’s challenging to be able to come out, people expect him to perform. He did a great job, obviously Robbie [Lawler] was just too much. Robbie’s actually had activity, Robbie’s a tough dude.”
Usman would love to see Diaz return to the octagon in the near future and thinks welterweight slugger Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown would make for the perfect opponent.
“I really liked what I saw out of Nick Diaz,” Usman continued. “If he’s willing to come back he just has to be smarter with the fights he picks. He is in that position, where he can pick fights. I wouldn’t mind seeing him and Matt Brown throw down. I think that’s a tremendous fight, wouldn’t mind seeing that.”
Diaz said prior to the Lawler fight that he would ‘beat the sh-t out of Usman’ and thinks he should have been fighting the latter for the welterweight title at UFC 266.
“I think I’ll beat the s–t out of Usman. I’ll have a better shot against Usman than I do Lawler, just because I already beat Lawler. This doesn’t make sense for me to go in and fight Robbie Lawler again. I don’t know why I’m doing this. … This should not happen. Whoever set this up is an idiot. I don’t know why I’m doing this. I don’t know why this happened. I should be fighting Kamaru Usman—and that’s it.”
Usman will return to the octagon to defend his welterweight title against Colby Covington at UFC 268 on Nov. 6 in New York City. He previously beat ‘Chaos’ via fifth-round TKO in a welterweight title bout at UFC 245.