Add Jorge Masvidal to the list of people unsure if they still want to see Nick Diaz competing in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Diaz, 38, returned to action for the first time in more than six years at UFC 266 back in September, losing a tough fight against Robbie Lawler when he refused the referee’s command to stand back up one minute into the third round (watch the highlights here).
There were flashes of prime Nick in the performance — some good body work and slick movement. But, on the whole, he looked like he lost a step, and it’s hard not to question his commitment when he came in a weight class heavy and ended the fight like he did.
“[It was] not the Nick Diaz that I’m accustomed to, obviously,” Masvidal said in an interview with The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “I was fighting alongside Nick when he was in Strikeforce and I was in Strikeforce, so I knew a very different Nick Diaz. I don’t want to see the guy get hurt, man. I would love to see him in peak shape, go in there and f—k some people up, but I don’t know how much of a reality that is now after seeing his last performance.”
“I want to see him not get hurt. And if he does go back in there, I want to see him as close as we can to his old self. I don’t think his last performance, we got to see that.
“I don’t know what Nick Diaz is going through,” Masvidal added. “I don’t know [if he’s dealing with the] IRS. I don’t what it is, why he was fighting. But as far as I go, I think I’ve said it before in the gym. When I go to the gym, myself, and the younger generations, and I can no longer hang with them and compete with them and do well — and not just well one day out of the week, but do well every time I step on the mat like I do right now — then I know it’s time for me to hang it up.”
“Nobody’s going to come telling me,” he continued. “Thank goodness, on a financial level, I never have to fight again. If I continue to fight now or not, I’m good financially, so I don’t see myself in those predicaments where I’m going to come back to fight for money. I’ll come back to fight because I love it, it’s my DNA.”
“I love doing this more than anything I’ve done in this world,” he concluded. “But, as far as for financial situations and stuff, I won’t be back in here. I worked too hard for this, I put too much money aside a long time ago, so I don’t have to worry about that. The day that I walk away from it, it’s because I feel that I no longer can compete at that level. I’m not going to be nobody’s footstool. I’m not going to hold nobody’s jock strap either. No way.”
Nick doesn’t sound quite done with fighting just yet. The elder Diaz brother recently popped up on social media when Jorge pulled out of his UFC 269 fight against Leon Edwards because of an undisclosed injury.
“Put me in,” Diaz wrote.
That’s certainly not going to happen. Edwards has already withdrawn from the card, and it’s unclear whether Nick is anywhere closer to 170 pounds than he was two months ago when his Welterweight fight was reclassified to Middleweight. We’re not sure we want to write off Diaz completely just yet, but we’re right there with Jorge on this: no one wants to see Nick end up a footstool.