Nick Diaz recently did what could be one of his most candid interviews with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. The 38-year-old veteran talked about how he does not enjoy his chosen profession and questioned the matchmaking behind his upcoming fight with Robbie Lawler, among other things.
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.
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.
This isn’t exactly a healthy mindset to have during fight week, you could say. But during the pre-fight presser on Thursday, Nick did a full 180.
“I definitely want to do this more often, especially if I get my ass whooped,” Diaz said, addressing reporters and the crowd in attendance. “If I get my ass whooped, I’d want to come back right away. If I get my ass whooped, I’m coming back.
“Either way, it doesn’t make a difference. When I get someone in front of me, I seem to be right back. I’ve always trained with the best and I’ve always helped my own with the best. It’s just that I didn’t expect to catch so much heat and so much expectation from everybody.
“Before I was used to just saying hi and being happy with everybody. And then now, all of a sudden, I’m going, like, ‘Whoa, hey, wait, wait wait!’ So that’s all. I wasn’t ready for all the extra attention.”
Diaz also mentioned harboring some resentment towards the sport, which he also clarified.
“I’m not knocking the UFC, just maybe, like, the whole sport, in general. I always fought, like… I had three to five fights a year for like 17 years or so. All I ever thought about was weight, what am I gonna eat.
“After a while, you realize there’s more to life, and then everybody kind of, like, digs their heels in you when you’re down. It’s kinda rough,” he explained.
“It’s nice to see a lot of support, like, two weeks leading up to a fight. But what about the last five years? It’s kind of how I feel. Of course, I get a lot of his and byes and I’ve done plenty of handshakes. I’d like to take some of those back.”
Another noteworthy comment from Nick was him saying he should be fighting Kamaru Usman, instead. He does see himself as a worthy challenger to the reigning champion but wants Lawler to get the shot if he doesn’t.
“I think I’m a better fighter all around. If I can survive this fight… I have a hard fight with this guy, so if I can survive this fight, I don’t see any reason why (it won’t happen).
“And if I don’t win, I’d like to see Robbie get the fight.”
Diaz and Lawler will meet again after 17 years in a five-round middleweight fight at UFC 266 on Saturday.