After more than six and a half years on the sidelines, Nick Diaz made his Octagon return at UFC 266 in September. The 38-year-old veteran and fan-favorite took on Robbie Lawler in a rematch after 17 years since their first encounter.
Despite some notable moments during the three-round contest, Diaz appeared like the aging competitor that he was that night. And for UFC president Dana White, the elder Diaz brother shouldn’t be fighting anymore.
“Regardless of how good he looked and what he did after such a huge layoff, I don’t think Nick should fight,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a recent sitdown.
“He’s a grown man and he can do whatever he wants to do. I just don’t think that Nick does it ‘cause he loves it. I think Nick does it ‘cause he has to do it.”
White then compared Diaz to a dispirited employee dragging himself to work.
“People always ask me, ‘What’s the key to success?’ It’s all about being happy and doing what you love,” he said.
“It seems to me like… when I always talk about the people who sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic and go to a job they hate. That’s what I feel like when Nick Diaz is getting ready for a fight. He’s in bumper-to-bumper traffic going to a job that he doesn’t love at all.”
Ultimately, White says he has “nothing but respect” for the former Strikeforce champion.
Diaz (26-10, 2 NC) last tasted victory in 2011 via a three-round beatdown on former champion B.J. Penn. He also took home a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night.