Through the build-up of his UFC 266 rematch with Robbie Lawler, Nick Diaz repeatedly mentioned how it had been a stressful time for him. Part of it he attributed to the lengthy layoff, but he also had some issues with the matchmaking.
He spoke about it during a fight week sitdown with Brett Okamoto, and again with Daniel Cormier during the Octagon interview.
“I don’t know how this fight got set up,” Diaz said on the mic. “But I had a switch-up in my whole… the way that the fight got set up, it was just a bum rap.
“But, no excuses. I had it coming and he was in great shape. I knew I was leaking here so I didn’t want to make too much of a mess. I’m glad to be back, I’m glad to put on a little show for you.”
More questions arose when the matchup got bumped up to middleweight four days before fight night. None of them were answered, but a series of tweets from Diaz’s long-time training partner Jake Shields raised even more questions.
The former Strikeforce champion first tweeted this out.
Nick Diaz is a fucking legend— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) September 26, 2021
6 years off And six weeks to train and still makes fight of the night
When asked about it, here was his response.
Wanted to do a fight later but was pressured to take it before he was ready. People care about money not his health— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) September 26, 2021
Another fan prodded, but Shields kept it ambiguous.
Snakes everywhere— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) September 26, 2021
Whatever happened to Diaz, only him, his team, and the UFC will know. He did put on a decent performance for someone returning from a six-year layoff but was unfortunately unable to get back up from a knockdown early in round three. It was Diaz’s third TKO loss as he drops to a record of 26-10 (with 2 NCs).
Lawler, on the other hand, broke a four-fight losing streak as he improves to a win-loss slate of 29-15 (with 1 NC).