Dana White unsure if Nick Diaz fights again but felt he looked ‘damn good’ in defeat at UFC 266
Despite a losing effort at UFC 266, where Nick Diaz seemingly quit in the third round of his bout against Robbie Lawler, UFC President Dana White was impressed with the Stockton native’s performance on Saturday.
Nick Diaz vs Robbie Lawler 2 was arguably the most anticipated fight on this past weekend’s UFC pay-per-view event. For the first two rounds of their non-title five-round featured matchup, the pair of welterweight grey beards went toe-to-toe. Showing their legendary qualities for giving as much as they can take.
However, in the third round, after taking a strike that dropped him to a knee Diaz (26-10) did something fans had never seen him do during his memorable 20-year career in mixed martial arts. He chose not to fight on when asked by the referee, and instead, handed Lawler (29-15) a technical knockout victory. It was just the third knockout loss of Diaz’s 36 fight career.
Dana White impressed by Nick Diaz’s performance at UFC 266
Although the end may not have been what fans wanted or expected, and it took several minutes for the 38-year-old to find a rhythm in the fight, the UFC’s top boss was blown away by his performance. Explaining at Tuesday’s press conference following this week’s episode of Dana White’s Contender Series, that Diaz far exceeded expectations after returning from a six-year hiatus from the sport.
“I thought Nick Diaz looked incredible considering he hasn’t fought in five years. You never know what to get with the [Diaz] brothers, but let me tell you what, with a five-year layoff, I thought he looked unbelievable,” White said.
“That first round; and I don’t know if you guys saw Robbie after the fight, but Robbie had freakin’ knots and lumps all over him. Those two went to war. The fight itself exceeded my expectations. …I thought Robbie was going to go out there and buzzsaw right through him and that was not the case.”
White is unsure when or if Diaz returns to the Octagon
Following the bout, many fans and media wondered when or even if Diaz would fight again. Considering his age, layoff, fight performance, and public acknowledgments that he has no love for the sport that has made him a beloved figure, the outlook on his next fight is cloudy at best. White also has that view of the situation and had no answers to offer when asked about the former Strikeforce welterweight champion’s fighting future.
“I don’t know,” White said. “I honestly don’t know the answer to that question, but he looked damn good. That kid has a massive heart and he’s obviously a super talented fighter, and I was impressed.”
What are your thoughts on Diaz’s UFC 266 performance, and do you want to see him fight again?Join the discussion on this topic...