Johnson and Diaz, who will fight at UFC on FOX 17 on Saturday in Orlando, were on their best behavior at weigh-ins, though the staredown was pretty intense. Afterward, Johnson explained to UFC on FOX what happened with him and "soft ass" Diaz.
SHOT'S FIRED!Michael "The Menace" Johnson responds to "SOFT A** Nate Diaz" after their CRAZY hotel lobby altercation at UFC event!Reebok #PROcastPosted by UFC on FOX on Friday, December 18, 2015
Johnson (16-9) said he walked by Diaz and stared at him, but Diaz did nothing at first. Then, Johnson said, as some of Diaz's teammates gathered around him, he started talking. A video was captured by Tamdan McCrory, who fights Josh Samman on Saturday.
"Now the real tough guy talks comes on," Johnson said. "And he just starts running his mouth, asks me what I'm looking at. ... He waits until a lot of people get around before he pushes me, which is really funny to me."
Diaz (17-10) has not fought since falling to now-champion Rafael dos Anjos in December 2014. In all, he has lost three of his last four, but looked shredded and motivated all week in Orlando. Johnson, one of the top lightweights in the world, won four in a row before falling to Beneil Dariush in August via split decision, a fight many thought he should have won.
Johnson said the little scuffle won't change how he views the fight with Diaz on Saturday night.
"There's no time for that," Johnson said. "Tomorrow we're gonna see who the real tough guy is. So, you can talk and put on a show in front of you friends, but you can't carry your boys in that cage with you. Once that door locks, it's just gonna be me and you. I hope you're ready to bring that same energy."