This past weekend, Nick Diaz made his long awaited return to the octagon when he faced Robbie Lawler in a five round non-title at UFC 266. The bout was a rematch of their much-heralded first fight that took place over 17 years ago, back at UFC 47, that saw Diaz win by second-round KO. Unfortunately for Diaz, things did not go his way this time, retiring in the third round after competitive, a back-and-forth brawl.
Following the fight, Diaz suggested that he was rushed back to fighting, telling Daniel Cormier in his post-fight interview that, “I had a lot of stress coming into this one, especially being off a long time. I don’t have no excuses. I had a long time off and I knew I had it coming. I don’t know how this fight got set up. I had a whole switch up in my management setup, the way that the fight got set up. It was just a bum rap.” And though Joe Rogan was not in attendance for UFC 266, he watched the event and seems to agree with Diaz.
“My thing about Nick Diaz is, when I looked at him physically, I was like, I don’t know how much he’s been training,” Rogan said on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “When Nick was in his prime, he was really lean. He’s definitely an older guy now. But the thing is, I don’t think you can just jump back in that easy after six years out of the sport. I think you’d probably need more time to prepare. I don’t know how much time he had to prepare and why they agreed to do a fight on short notice, because I think it was only six weeks’ notice. Which is fine if you’re Michael Chandler, if you’re in peak form right now and you’re ready to go. Someone gives you six weeks and I bet you can get ready for a fight. But if you’re a guy who has been off for that long, you’re gonna need more time, I think. I’m just guessing. I don’t know how much time it took him.
Which isn’t to say that Diaz looked terrible. Though some thought Diaz looked like he shouldn’t have been in there, Diaz outperformed the expectations of many, including UFC President Dana White, who said that Diaz “looked incredible considering his hasn’t fought in five years.” Rogan echoed White’s sentiment, saying that, all things considered, Diaz did alright.
“My point was, he didn’t do that bad for a guy that was out six (years),” Rogan said. “Robbie Lawler was pressuring him and he was putting it on him and he was definitely getting the better of the exchanges, but it’s not like Nick Diaz didn’t have his moments. He definitely did. He would just have to have way more time to prepare and he’d have to be really ready to go. Like the old Nick Diaz. Like the Nick Diaz that fought Anderson Silva, like the Nick Diaz that fought Georges St-Pierre, like the Nick Diaz that fought Paul Daley in Strikeforce. That dude was a f*cking killer.”
But can Diaz get back to his old form? Though he suggested he was rushed back to fighting, Diaz had reportedly been targeting a return for almost a year, and given his age, 38, there is a legitimate question as to whether it was preparation or simply father time that affected his performance. Rogan appears to believe the former is more likely and says it’s just a matter of Diaz getting back into the swing of things.
“Can he still do that at 38? Well, maybe,” Rogan concluded. “We don’t know if you have just have one fight. You need time. If you’re body hasn’t been used to this stuff and you haven’t been training as much as you were when you were in your prime - if you still want to do it again, he legitimately, physically probably can. But it’s like, (when you) run a marathon. When you start out and you run a mile and you’re dead, you’re like, ‘I can’t believe anyone can run 26 of those.’ But if you do it over and over and over again, you build up. I don’t think he had a chance to build back up after being off for that much time. I think you get back to where he was Nick Diaz at his best, you’ve got to have some time.”
Diaz has yet to indicate whether he will fight again.
Opinion. Dana White says Nick Diaz exceeded expectations at UFC 266: ‘He looked damn good’.
Beef. Israel Adesanya on Jon Jones domestic violence arrest: ‘I swear I said he would f*ck up again, he can’t help it’.
Trilogy. Valentina Shevchenko: Amanda Nunes doesn’t want trilogy because she knows she was ‘gifted the victory’ in rematch.
Return. Dave Feldman ‘would love’ to have Paige VanZant back for another BKFC fight but ‘it’s up in the air’.
The MMA Hour.
UFC 266 Booth Reactions.
UFC Vegas 38 Fighters You Should Know.
PFL Championship Press Conference.
We Got Next. Interviews with Jasmine Jasudavicius, Mike Breeden, and Mo Miller.
Heavy Hands. Discussing Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
The champ is already back on the grind.
Shooting his shot.
Staying in the conversation.
He moved to Puerto Rico for a reason https://t.co/681PGCFTNq— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) September 30, 2021
Cejudo working with Weili Zhang.
Support for Joe Rogan.
Joe Rogan is the man! He has been so helpful and helps and asks for nothing in return. And Joe Rogan is the UFC, he’s yesterday’s UFC, he’s today’s UFC, Joe Rogan Will be tomorrow’s UFC! I am honored to be able to sit to his right on the biggest fight nights of the year!— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) September 30, 2021
For me @joerogan is the man when it comes to commentating. it’s just become trendy to knock him for some insanely strange reason. I watch him and learn every time. He has fascinating takes and a way with words I can only aspire to. And this isn’t me being a company man either. https://t.co/doYSHKkgrf— michael (@bisping) September 30, 2021
Ketlen Vieira (11-2) vs. Miesha Tate (19-7); UFC Vegas 43, Nov. 20.
Pedro Munhoz (19-6, 1 NC) vs. Dominick Cruz (23-3); UFC 269, Dec. 11.
Raquel Pennington (12-8) vs. Julia Avila (9-2); UFC Fight Night, Dec. 18.
Rodolfo Vieira (8-1) vs. Wellington Turman (17-5); UFC Fight Night, Jan. 22.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Who wins this weekend?
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