Nick Diaz has been fighting the hitters, putting his life on the line and jeopardizing the family he hopes to one day acquire since 2001, which is when the rough and tumble professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career began for the Stockton, Calif., native.
"I was the one out there fighting all the hitters, violent people with bad intentions who weren't trying to just win rounds," Diaz told "Tim and Sid" radio show (among other things) prior to his showdown with Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 last night (March 16, 2013) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. "I had to deal with my face being split open, getting beat up more when I won than when I lost…. It's not like I enjoy this, taking punches to the mouth. I need to feed the family that hopefully one day I can acquire if I survive this shit."
Diaz "survived" another 25 minutes locked inside a cage with a man who is paid to separate him from consciousness (watch video highlights here), most likely because, as he put it, St. Pierre "hits like a girl." Despite his perceived lack of punching power, it didn't stop the French-Canadian -- who vowed to retire Diaz with an otherworldly beating -- from coasting to a dominant five-round decision victory inside the Bell Centre.
It certainly wasn't a "beating" that would make any man retire from the sport in its own merit, but the final result, combined with the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight landscape, has Diaz second-guessing his fight future regardless.
"I'm trying to retire, I'm trying to get out of this gig…. I've had more than 30-something fights," he remarked during the UFC on FUEL TV UFC 158 post-event broadcast. "What am I going to do if I don't get a rematch? I don't want to fight any of these guys out here -- they came in after me. Georges is the only one who … I've done everything I've set out to do -- I've fought everybody who started when I did, my era, my generation. All these new kids, I don't want to get in there and jump around with all these new kids."
It didn't take long for UFC President Dana White to dash Diaz's pipe dream, reminding him and everyone else who was watching who the new No. 1 contender in the 170-pound weight class is moving forward, Johny Hendricks (more on that here). In fact, "Bigg Rigg" -- who turned in a winning "Fight of the Night" performance against Carlos Condit in the co-main event -- should never have taken a back seat to Diaz in the first place.
So, without a rematch, will Diaz seriously consider retirement? It's unlikely if for nothing else than we've heard it all before like after his controversial lost to Condit back at UFC 143 (more on that here), which precipitated a drug test failure (marijuana metabolites) and year-long suspension. However, if Diaz is indeed serious this time around, White -- who dealt with his fair share of Diaz drama in the build up to the pay-per-view (PPV) event -- is not going to try and talk him out of it.
"No, he wouldn't get a rematch off that fight," White reinforced on the UFC on FUEL TV UFC 158 post-event broadcast. "I don't think Nick Diaz should retire. I'm not the guy who makes those decisions. I think if guys want to retire, this isn't like any other sport, where if you're heads not into it you should probably retire. I've never gone back to a guy and said, 'C'mon, don't retire.'"
It's important to note that Diaz has not officially retired from MMA -- just a bunch of immediate mixed post-fight MMA emotions for now. However, he does have a looming drug test, which if it comes up dirty (again) for pot, could compel White and Co. to part ways with Diaz. He's not too concerned about the outcome, saying that if it was positive he'd be sorry, but could use another 12-month vacation.
A vacation from MMA that perhaps could last longer than one year all things considered. Regardless of any decision, Diaz vows to keep fighting indefinitely ... just not inside a cage.
"I've made this investment [into] martial arts," Diaz said on the aforementioned "Tim and Sid" appearance. "I may not be able to keep fighting for money for a living, but I'll always fight for my dignity because that is who I am. I will always tell you the truth … and never sell you a handful of wolf tickets."
Nick Diaz, ladies and gentlemen.