Many were excited to see the return of Nick Diaz at UFC 266, but the veteran himself was not fully up for it and now one and a half years later, Diaz claims that the fight was somewhat forced upon him.
Six years since his last UFC appearance, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion returned to the Octagon at UFC 266 in September 2021, taking on Robbie Lawler in a rematch of their first encounter 17 years ago at UFC 47 in April 2004.
While Diaz was able to make weight for the five round middleweight bout and started off well in the first round, he was gradually overwhelmed by Lawler who dropped Diaz in round three with a TKO.
The fight had already generated much controversy, especially Diaz himself stating before the fight that he wasn’t really keen on the bout, and there were multiple reports that Diaz carried multiple injuries into the fight and it was somewhat forced onto the veteran fighter.
I didn’t really go in there to win: Nick Diaz
Now, more than a year and a half since the loss to “Ruthless”, Diaz cleared the air once again regarding the fight, and during a recent appearance on the Dying to See Me Podcast, confirmed the speculations that he was forced into the fight.
“So I went into training camp, and I kind of got backed into it too” said Diaz. “I was in between management, it wasn’t like when I went and found a group to work with and organize my situation. I was going back and forth with the people I was working with and some of the old people I was working with during this training camp and my trainers.”
“So I couldn’t amount to a level of athletism that I needed to be competitive, and I knew that going into the fight. Then I was going into this fight like, ‘I really have it coming’, so I didn’t really go in there to win. I just needed to get that fight out, I hadn’t fought in a long time. I’d never fought under those conditions [before],” he added. [H/T BJPenn.com]
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