Moments after the Nevada Athletic Commission handed Nick Diaz a controversial five-year suspension, the popular fighter opened up to MMAFighting.com, perhaps like never before.
Here's what Diaz had to say:
"I'm the only one who's invested in a fight life. That's why none of these other guys can ever say shit. They're too worried about what their families and their wives and the people around them will think, so they're too scared to speak up. That's why I invested everything in my fight life. That's why I come off the way I do and always have.
Every other fighter has a life on the side. I've never had another job. I didn't graduate eighth grade. I could have, but I got into too many fights in middle school.
My mom and dad taught me nothing but ABCs. I was moved from school to school, put on drugs and made fun of by classmates because after being disruptive in class the teachers would always tell the other kids I was on meds and sometimes don't take them.
That's fucked up. You don't know what that does to someone. I wanted to beat up everyone in class, even the girls who would say things like, 'What's wrong? You didn't take your medication?'
I had to get inter-district agreements to stay in the same school because my mom would lose her house and I'd have to move in with my grandparents in Lodi.
You know what it's like to move into a preppy Lodi school after being in a ghetto Stockton school with black and Asian kids?
They would try to get me kicked out and put me on drugs. My sixth grade class was the first school responsible for imposing all of the mandatory outfits for kids. There was no one like me there when I got in the high school. I would get in fights with kids from that same school and get kicked out of high school.
I had a really hot girlfriend and was very self-conscious about what I was wearing and couldn't afford nice things and got in fights because her ex-boyfriend was a year older and the mascot on the football team, so the coaches would tell the football players that I was bad news and they would start shit. A lot of them were on steroids, a lot of them were Mexican gangbangers people who were on meth and getting stabbed.
Before anybody in my class made it out of high school, I was in a continuation, which I also got kicked out of because my friend Bart was also in the class and got into a big fight, which the teacher had to break up and did not want either of us in the school anymore, so I tried homeschool but that was never going to work. I was so far behind, it was never going to happen and by then I was training to be a pro fighter. My girlfriend knew it but had started dating Bart to make me jealous. He had a gun and neither of us wanted to piss him off because he would walk around with it.
Before I ever had my first pro fight, July 5, 2000, Bart had a party at his house. The night before, Stephanie had told me she loved me. After the party, I was gonna go back to her house with her brother -- he was my best friend -- but some friends weren't doing well and headed to my house. So I had to go.
An hour later I got a call from her mom saying, 'Are you with Stephanie?' She came straight to my house to get me, took me up and down the Frontage Road on Highway 99 by my Grandma's house next to their trailer park.
There was a wreck on the freeway. I jumped the fence and saw only one car and ambulances.
She had walked and killed herself on the freeway. The girl I loved more than anything had tried to kill herself for the third time and succeeded.
She was gonna go to college. She was an avid student and and was doing everything I couldn't while living in a trailer park where everyone was doing dope. Meanwhile, I focused my whole high school years worried about what her and her friends would think if I lost a fight to her ex-boyfriend and football friends. I could never make attendance, hung out with the wrong people to hold my ground as a fighter and someone who I would fight for was important to me.
There was no way I was gonna go to school. I had no money, no car. I would have driven there and stopped her. After that, I was grown up. It was all over. I wasn't a kid anymore. I won my first fight in the first round with a choke and all I could think about was her, just like when I was in school.
I would run seven miles and back to her grave just to promise her I would make it as a fighter like she knew and had told me she knew and was proud of me.
So this sport and this commission have done everything to stop me from being in the position that I belong. That's the only reason why I haven't stayed in that position and come off as the fighter and person that I know I am and can be.
They suspended me for a third time. For five fucking years for something that makes the whole world a better place.
I've been investing in that understanding from the beginning. And I'm not going to start being someone that I'm not.
Honestly, I wanted to get up and walk out on the third question, but I didn't do that. Now I have to deal with that. These guys advised me not to do that.
I wanted to get up and tell them what I think about them to their face. I didn't do that. And now I have to live with that.
I'm the original Conor McGregor. I'm the original model of Conor McGregor. He wouldn't be who he is if it wasn't for me. Nothing against him. I'm the original real deal. I never did steroids in my entire life. I had to learn how to fight the real way and the right way. That's way I'm the best fighter in the entire world.
Guys like Conor, who are gonna make more money than me can see how to do it, as well as negotiate what they want in their contract using a team and agency and lawyers instead of their crooked jiu-jitsu trainer and coach, who was my manager for the majority of my career except for my last fight when I found the right agency on my own and signed with them, and I didn't even graduate the motherfucking eighth grade.
But in the end, I'm just upset I can't be there for my brother right now since he's gonna be fighting soon. It's my bad he even got into this sport and he gets his face kicked in and they don't even pay him.
I got us in this, and if I don't make any money, I don't have any way to get us out."
Update: Upon further reflection, Diaz wanted to clarify that at no point did he intend to disparage his former coach and manager, Cesar Gracie. Diaz maintains he has a good relationship with Gracie and has no issues with him.