We’re less than a week away from UFC 266 and it’s no surprise that the third match down the card under the two championship bouts is drawing a ton of hype and attention from fans. That bout would be the rematch between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler, a runback of a classic fight the two had way way back in April 2004.
Everyone is curious as to what kind of Nick Diaz we’re going to see in the cage and out of it, considering his last fight was over six years ago against Anderson Silva. As usual, Nick hasn’t been very eager to get out in front of the world to promote the fight. And during the UFC 266 countdown show, he explained just how much he hates dealing with the media and press leading up to a big event.
“I’m not somebody who’s good with words,” Diaz said. “Just the stress of being able to say the right thing, that was kind of a price I had to pay. Just doing that sort of thing [promotion] non-stop, I’d rather just be out there fighting.”
“People were really taking shots at me and trying to take me out in some sort of way before I go in there. It’s hard for me to show up in the middle of training and going back and forth. And I feel like the world is kind of hammering me so hard, making it like a fair fight ... I always walked out there thinking ‘What am I doing, I can’t believe I’m doing this again. I’m like ‘This is not fair!’”
Diaz also reminisced on what it was like to make his debut in the UFC against Robbie Lawler, who was just lighting up everyone else in the division before their fight.
“It was like there was no way I was gonna win and everyone was like ‘Oh you’re fighting Robbie Lawler?’” Diaz remembered. “So when I went out there I just did what I do and I spooked him.”
Diaz vs. Lawler 1 was full of the kind of classic Nick Diaz taunting and showboating we all love these days (watch the full fight here), but at the time no one knew what the hell was going on, least of all Robbie Lawler.
“I grew up in a really hard town,” Diaz explained. “The people I grew up with they were always fighting. My brother was getting into gang fights and fights on the street. I got stabbed. I had a mentality from just getting roughed around as a kid and just put through a lot. I thought that was going on everywhere but it was really just the school that I was at. So when I went out there to fight in front of an audience, they had never seen anything like that and I didn’t know that I was doing anything different. But I really had an advantage because of that mentality.”
We may end up seeing a much more respectful Nick Diaz in the Octagon on September 25th.
“I’m not going out there to call him names or, y’know, I’m going to be a lot more sportsmanlike, I think, out there,” Nick said. “But that’s not what won me the fight last time. That surprised him a little bit, but I would have won the fight anyways.”
And as for the questions surrounding Nick’s return after so many years of partying, we don’t have much of an answer.
“I was kind of all over the place and I really had to slow it down,” Diaz said simply. “I got a signed bout agreement, so I’m getting ready to do my job.”
UFC 266 goes down on September 25th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Nevada and is headlined by a featherweight title match between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. Also on the card: Valentina Shevchenko defending her women’s flyweight title against Lauren Murphy, and of course Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler 2.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 266 fight card and rumors click here.