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‘He’s not a thug’ - John McCarthy says ‘good guy’ Nick Diaz is misperceived by fans

“Big John” McCarthy talks about the supposed wrong perception people have about Nick Diaz.

If you’ve followed the sport long enough, you’re aware of the “gangster” image that both Diaz brothers portray. It’s an image that’s won them a legion of fans and turned them into huge superstars.

But according to former referee “Big John” McCarthy, that Stockton bad-boy persona has created a wrong impression among fans. In a recent episode of his Weighing In podcast with Josh Thomson, McCarthy talked about the “real” Nick Diaz.

“Nick is as tough as they come. I love the guy, and I think… he’s such a good guy and he’s got a persona that people… the perception of what he is and who he truly is, it’s two different things,” he said. “And he is a good f—king guy who will spend time with people and give you the shirt off his back if it’s something that he looks at that’s important.

“He’s not what people perceive him to be, is this thug. He’s not a thug. He’s very intellectual, as far as what he cares about, he is involved with. (If) he cares about it deeply, he will help other people with it. I just think that in some way, there’s that… he can make a lot of money fighting.”

UFC president Dana White recently stated that the 38-year-old Diaz should no longer be fighting, especially if he’s just doing it “‘cause he has to.” And it’s a sentiment that McCarthy agrees with.

“I think that Dana is correct in that, ‘Hey, man. If you’re not gonna be a hundred percent into doing this, don’t do it.’ I understand what Dana is saying, and I agree with it in the fact that man, we say it all the time.

“If you’re not a hundred percent in, be a hundred percent out. Because it’s just gonna be painful and ugly and it’s not gonna be good for you.”

Diaz (26-10, 2 NC) returned to action after a six-year layoff to face former UFC champion Robbie Lawler in a rematch 17 years later. He lost via third-round TKO.