For a good part of the last decade and a half, fans have known both Nick and Nate Diaz to be fighters through and through. “Gangsters,” if you will.
But in a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto ahead of UFC 266, the elder Nick opened up about his true feelings about his chosen profession.
I never enjoyed fighting. It’s just something that I do.
It’s just what I do. I try to get away from it, but really, it’s kind of inevitable. It is. All the people around me, and all the money and the sponsors, they won’t let me get away from fighting. There’s things I could do, but that’s not gonna work out. I might as well just go and take my punches.
Or I might as well just… I don’t want to look back and say ‘What did I not just do it?’ I don’t feel great. I feel great to fight, I don’t feel great about everything.
But if I don’t do this, I don’t know how I’m gonna feel about myself. If two years down the road, if I’m sitting here going, ‘Why didn’t I just go do these fights?’
Nick feels he’s given enough to the sport but got nothing in return. And for that, he’s harbored some resentments.
I fight, everybody benefits and I don’t. I get paid to fight and then I fight… I don’t enjoy fighting. I have to concentrate on the fight to be the best fighter, and then I’m supposed to do this other stuff that the other fighters do.
And then, it’s like, I’m being punished for not being a regular human being, a regular person. I’m like, ‘How come you never worked as hard as I did? How come you guys didn’t train every day and do everything that I did?!’
I did full-distance triathlons, I did seven rounds, I do 18 rounds a day, plus jiu-jitsu, wrestling six days a week my whole career. Then I finally stop and I met these important people and I moved around. You can call it a party, but I was partaking in, like, what was going on. And then all of these people were like, they’re here for you or they’re not here for you.
In a way, I have a lot of resentment towards the sport for taking so much from me, but not giving anything back. This is great, they’re promoting the fight. I didn’t expect to be the main event or anything like that. But like John McCarthy says, being a fighter is a hard life. I take it like a man. I’m going in there to win.
For Diaz’s return, he will take on former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler this Saturday in a rematch after 17 years. He gave an honest assessment of the fight, while also drawing the curtain on how the Diaz mindset works.
'Whoever set this up is an idiot. I should be fighting Kamaru Usman.' pic.twitter.com/jLDAjRKddW— Milan Ordoñez (@Mr_Ordonez) September 23, 2021
Do I feel confident? I never do. I never have. I’ve always felt like I’m gonna get trashed out there. Every fight I’ve ever done. ‘How do you feel against Robbie Lawler?’ I feel like I’m gonna get the shit beat out of me. And even when I win, I get beat up worse.
I do believe that (I’m the best fighter in the world). What do you have, Usman? I think I’ll beat the shit out of Usman. I have a better shot at beating Usman than I do Lawler, just because I already beat Lawler.
This doesn’t make sense for me to go in there 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.
And I don’t want to fight the guys my brother just fought. My brother fights at the same weight as me, so it’s kinda tough. ‘Cause I don’t want to get in his way, and he’s in my way, and then I get in his way. And I’m, like, ‘Yo, bro! Take the whole damn thing, please! Because that’s what I wanted for you, was to be OK.’
I really sacrificed myself for him, and now I’m in shit. And I’m gonna go in there and fight Robbie Lawler, again, when he don’t deserve to get his ass whooped! I know I’m gonna beat the shit out of him, and I don’t want to! And if I lose, I don’t want to f—ng lose to Robbie Lawler, I already beat him! That just sucks.
As for his loyal followers who’ve been nothing but supportive since day one, Nick has this message for you.
Thank you so much. I love you. I like to say I love everyone and I love everything, but I realize that that’s not… I don’t. And that’s not good. It’s just like a figure of speech. I love to help people and I love to be a part of the sport, but I don’t love what it’s done to me. Especially in the last seven months, the last two years.
I got a shot at dragging some of this back, so I’mma go for it.
This interview shows Nick Diaz in rare form. Definitely worth a watch if you have 20 minutes to kill.