Nick Diaz didn’t feel his best heading into his long-awaited comeback fight in Sept. 2021.
The announcement of a Diaz return after six years out of action felt like somewhat of a prank ... especially considering the opponent. It wasn’t, however, as Diaz ended his lengthy hiatus at UFC 266, competing in a 17-year-old rematch against Robbie Lawler, who he knocked out in round two of their April 2004 clash.
Unfortunately for Diaz, things didn’t play out the same all those years later. The former Strikeforce Welterweight champion suffered a third round technical knockout loss (watch highlights). Rumors swirled ahead of the bout that Diaz wasn’t actually wanting to fight at all, therefore, the reason for the late fight week change of the bout going to Middleweight from the originally planned Welterweight limit.
“I went into training camp, and I kind of got backed into it, too,” Diaz said on Dying To See Me. “I was in between management, it wasn’t like when I went and found a group to work with and organize my situation. I went back and forth between the people I was working with and some of the old people I was working with during this training camp and my trainers.
“I couldn’t amount to a level of athleticism I needed to be competitive, and I knew that going into the fight,” he continued. “Then I was going into this fight like, ‘Oh, man. I really got it coming.’ So, I didn’t really go in there to win. I just needed to get that first fight out, I hadn’t fought in a long time. I’d never fought under those conditions.”
Diaz noted that he sustained a neck injury from a biking accident before the fight, which hindered training. Despite not getting his hand raised since Oct. 2011 against B.J. Penn, the eldest Diaz brother, 39, still wants to fight again, but has no preference in sport.
“Whatever makes most sense,” he concluded, after continuing to rehab and going through therapeutic treatment.