UFC president Dana White thinks Nick Diaz looked incredible against Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 and credits the MMA veteran for putting on such a great performance after his six-year hiatus from the sport.
Diaz lost the fight via third-round TKO but White thinks the former Strikeforce welterweight champion and two-time UFC title challenger demonstrated tremendous heart against such a ferocious opponent.
“I thought Nick Diaz looked incredible, considering he hasn’t fought in (six) years,” White said at a recent press conference (h/t Harvey Leonard of MMA News). I don’t know what I was expecting. You never know what to get with the brothers. But let me tell you what, with a (six-year) layoff, I thought he looked unbelievable.
“That first round—and I don’t know if you guys saw Robbie after the fight, but Robbie had friggin’ knots and lumps all over him. Those two went to war. The fight itself exceeded my expectations because Nick hadn’t fought in five years. I thought Robbie was just gonna go out there and buzzsaw through him. And that was not the case.”
White doesn’t know what the future holds for Diaz but reiterated that he looked ‘damn good’ last Saturday and is obviously a ‘super-talented fighter’.
“Those are the kind of things I expect from the Diaz brothers,” he said. “But I don’t know. I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. But he looked damn good. That kid’s got a massive heart. He’s obviously a super-talented fighter. And yeah, I was impressed.”
Diaz hasn’t commented on the fight other than in his post-fight interview where he alluded to being unprepared and out of shape. He is considered by many to be one of the toughest fighters in the sport.