Nick Diaz says he could ‘beat the sh*t’ out of Kamaru Usman as he explains disinterest in Lawler fight
Nick Diaz has always been open about his feelings on the fight game, and in a new ESPN interview, he let loose on his resentment of the sport, disinterest in his upcoming UFC 266 bout against Robbie Lawler, and why he believes he should have been beating up welterweight champion Kamaru Usman instead.
Although many fans are excited about a rematch 17 years in the making between Diaz (26-9) and Lawler (28-15), it seems the Stockton native isn’t. Yesterday, he went as far as to call matchmakers “idiots” for booking the bout, when he believes his resume — despite six years away following a suspension — is enough to garner a fight with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (19-1). A talent he thinks he would put a serious hurting on.
Nick Diaz believes he should be fighting Kamaru Usman at UFC 266, not Robbie Lawler
“I think I’ll beat the s— out of Usman. I’ll have a better shot against 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. … This should not happen. Whoever set this up is an idiot,” Diaz told ESPN in a Wednesday interview. “I don’t know why I’m doing this. I don’t know why this happened. I should be fighting Kamaru Usman — and that’s it.”
Diaz has no love for the sport that made him a star
In general, the 38-year-old returning to the sport he has become a legendary figure in has only rekindled the problems he has long had with MMA. Diaz admits that he has resentment for the sport because of the person it turns him into, as well as what he perceives it has taken from him while giving far less back. These new revelations explain why he asked for the weight of his bout on Saturday night to be switched from welterweight to middleweight. Why cut a bunch of weight for a fight that you are not that excited to compete in.
“I have a lot of resentment toward the sport for taking so much from me and not giving anything back. This is great. They’re promoting this fight. I didn’t expect to be the main event or anything like that. … I love to help people and I love to be part of the sport,” Diaz said. “But I don’t love what it’s done to me. Especially in the last seven months, the last two years. So yeah, I’ve got a shot at dragging some of this back. So I’m gonna go for it.
“I feel like that every fight, I’m kind of a dark and dim person leading up to a fight. I just despise these people who are happy to go out there.”
In the interview, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion admitted attempting to try and build his own gym during his hiatus away from the sport after once against testing positive for marijuana on a Nevada State Athletic Commission drug test. The investors he thought he had did not deliver and the value of the name he built in the industry did not prove enough to help him score something he truly wanted. This brings him back to MMA. A sport he just can’t seem to escape the grip of, even if he wants to.
“All the people around me and all the money and the sponsors, they won’t let me get away from fighting,” Diaz said. “There’s things I could do, but that’s not gonna work out. I might as well just go and take my punches. … I don’t want to look back and say, ‘Why did I not just do it?’ I don’t feel great. I feel great to fight. I don’t feel great about everything [else]. If I don’t do this, I don’t know how I’m going to feel about myself.”
Diaz fights on the main card of UFC 266, which takes place Sept. 25 inside the T-Moble Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event kicks off at 6 pm ET with preliminary action. The card then switches to a pay-per-view broadcast for $69.99 exclusively on ESPN+.