Nick Diaz UFC 266

Coach: Nick Diaz fought Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 with two ruptured discs in his neck

According to his coach Cesar Gracie, UFC veteran and legend Nick Diaz fought his most recent fight with a pretty serious injury at UFC 266.

The last time Nick Diaz fought inside the UFC Octagon, it wasn’t healthy or on the greatest conditions according to his coach Cesar Grace. Diaz last competed inside the UFC Octagon at UFC 266 against Robbie Lawler, in a rematch that was 17 years in the making between the two. It was an uncomfortable showing from Diaz, who had not competed in since 2015.

Lawler picked up the victory over Diaz in round 3 due to unanswered strikes from Diaz, as the former welterweight champion also seemed to not want to put anymore damage on the legendary veteran fighter. Speaking to Submission Radio recently, Gracie revealed that Nick Diaz fought his fight against Lawler with two ruptured discs in his neck and doctors were shocked that he was able to compete under his conditions. It was due to those conditions that the fight took place at 185 pounds, rather than 170 where Lawler had previously been the champion.

“He went into that fight and his neck was pretty messed up. Robbie’s a great tough fighter and everything, and Nick was doing great and then you kind of seeing Nick kind of fading as the fight wore on. So, Nick had an operation very recently, 7 weeks ago. He had two of the discs had ruptured in his neck before the fight, so he has was having numbness of the hands. That’s why he didn’t make the 170, he fought at 185, because it was impossible to train.

He just didn’t have any strength, he just didn’t have what you’re used to in ‘Nick Diaz’ he didn’t have it. We were finally able to go and he had an operation, he put the titanium discs in his neck. He’s feeling great from that right now and it looks like we’re getting the old Nick back.

Although he has undergone the proper procedure to correct the injury, doctors told Nick Diaz after the fight that not only were they surprised by him being able to fight on that night, because he shouldn’t have been able to walk given his state. Not only the doctors, but Cesar Gracie himself was surprised by Diaz’s performance given how bad the injury was and how practice had been going due to the injury.

“He did it and he looked great that first round, part of the second, I mean he did better than I thought he was going to do. Literally, I can tell you Nick’s training, before, the guy trains daily like a maniac, he runs triathlons. I would take him to the gym and little things he’d be like ‘I can’t.’ So, after the fight we kept looking for what’s going on and finally we got these MRIs on his neck and the doctor said ‘I can not believe you just fought, you shouldn’t be walking.'”

Now that Nick Diaz has gotten the proper procedure done to correct the serious injury, his coach believes there could be a return on the horizon in 2023, as they’ve received “pretty cool” options.

“I’m looking at probably the early part of 2023. we’re just waiting on doctors, he’s got another appointment next month and then he should be clear to start his hard training again. He definitely wants to fight and the UFC, I’ve been in contact with them, they actually just called me asking about Nick. There’s some pretty cool options that are in front of us.”

Despite the fact that he had not competed for six years before he entered the fight against Robbie Lawler with a serious injury, it’s clear that Nick Diaz wants to return in 2023, and the UFC would welcome him back.

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