Preparing for a return to the UFC Octagon and active fighting competition for the first time in five years, Nick Diaz believes he should be facing a different opponent at UFC 266 this weekend. On Wednesday, Diaz spoke with Brett Okamoto of ESPN and said that he feels he should be fighting welterweight champion Kamaru Usman instead of Robbie Lawler. Having faced, and beaten Lawler 17 years ago at UFC 47, Diaz says the matchup makes no sense and whoever set it up is an “idiot”.
Nick Diaz got the champ’s attention 👀 #UFC266
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 23, 2021
“I mean what do you have, Usman? I think I’ll beat the s**t out of Usman. I have a better shot at beating Usman than I do Lawler just because I already beat Lawler. This doesn’t make sense for me to go in and fight Robbie Lawler again, I don’t know why I’m doing this. I don’t know why I’m doing this, this should not happen, whoever set this up is an idiot. I should be fighting Kamaru Usman and that’s it.”
After the interview with ESPN got published, Usman caught wind of Diaz’s comments and responded with a tweet that said “I like that energy” and while it seems Diaz could be trying to push his away into a title picture, he also mentioned the issues of him and his brother Nate running into each other and potentially causing problems as they both fight at welterweight.
“I don’t want to fight the guys my brother just fought, my brother fights at the same weight as me so it’s kind of tough cause I don’t want to get in his way, and he gets in my way, and then I get in his way then I’m like ‘yo bro, take the whole damn thing please, cause that’s what I wanted for you’. I really sacrifice myself for him and now I’m in s**t.”
As they approach a rematch 17 years later from their original matchup, Nick Diaz says he knows he’s going to beat Robbie Lawler, and he shouldn’t even be fighting him.
“I’m gonna go in there and fight Robbie Lawler again, when he doesn’t deserve to get his ass whooped and I know I’m going to beat the s**t out of him and I don’t wanna. And if I lose, I don’t want to lose to Robbie Lawler because I already beat him.”
Things took an interesting twist earlier this week as it was revealed that Nick Diaz asked for his fight against Lawler to take place at middleweight rather than welterweight, which is the division both have competed in for most of their career, although Lawler did compete at middleweight in Strikeforce.
It’s clear that Nick Diaz is not happy with the return matchup, and depending on how things go at UFC 266, it’ll be interesting to see what direction the UFC, and Diaz, want to go moving forward.
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Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
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