Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is not worried about Nick Diaz’s pre-fight demeanor ahead of his long-awaited comeback fight tonight (Sat., Sept. 25, 2021) at UFC 266 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In fact, White believes Diaz is taking a page out of the great Mike Tyson’s book.
Diaz, 38, hasn’t competed under the UFC banner since a fight with Anderson Silva nearly seven years ago. The Stockton native has been away from the fight game ever since and it has left fight fans to wonder what the veteran has left in the tank so many years later. Diaz hasn’t helped ease concerns by confessing he doesn’t know why he’s fighting.
That would usually raise a red flag for any other fighter in the sport today, but Diaz is a different animal when it comes to fight week and the fight game as a whole.
“The mainstream media doesn’t know Nick Diaz like we know Nick Diaz,” White told reporters on Friday (via ESPN MMA). “You never know what to expect when you walk into fight week with Nick.
“I was expecting anything was possible. I didn’t know if he was going to show up to any of this stuff or what he was going to do. But like I always say about the Diaz bothers you know they’re going to show up on Saturday and you know they’re going to fight.”
White, who has been around the fight game for a very long time and has seen this type of behavior from Diaz before, is chalking it all up to a state of mind that the Stockton fighter puts himself in. It’s something that reminds White of Tyson and how the former heavyweight champion used to conduct himself leading up to a boxing match.
“When you talk to him he’s very Tyson-eque. He reminds me of Tyson,” said White. “When you talk to Tyson and when Tyson is not in the right mood he’ll tell you all the things that he hates about fighting. When he’s in the right mood he’ll tell you all the things that he loves about fighting. He has this love-hate relationship with the fight game like Mike does. They’re very similar in the way that they speak and if you catch them in the right mood.”
Luckily, Diaz will have his chance to prove his worth later tonight when he takes on Robbie Lawler in a five-round middleweight bout on the UFC 266 PPV main card. The two fighters first met back at UFC 47 in 2004 and Diaz ended up winning that bout via second-round knockout. We’ll have to wait and see if Diaz can duplicate those results 17 years later.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 266 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPNN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.