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Morning Report: Cesar Gracie says Nick Diaz ‘had to pretty much take’ fight with Robbie Lawler at UFC 266

Nick Diaz at UFC 266
Nick Diaz at UFC 266
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nick Diaz’s return to the cage last year, did not come under the best of circumstances.

Last September, Diaz returned to action after a six-year layoff to rematch Robbie Lawler at UFC 266. It didn’t go well for him. Diaz looked noticeably older and slower in the fight, and Lawler battered him en route to a third-round stoppage. Afterwards, Diaz said he had “a lot of stress” heading into the fight and “knew I had it coming,” and apparently there was a reason for that: he wasn’t in the best shape to fight, at least not according to his coach Cesar Gracie.

“So Nick, he went into that fight and his neck was pretty messed up,” Gracie told Submission Radio. “Robbie’s a great, tough fighter and everything. And, Nick was doing great. And then you kind of see Nick kind of just kind of fading as the fight wore on. So, Nick had an operation very recently here seven weeks ago. So, two of the discs had ruptured in his neck before the fight. So, he was having numbness of the hands. That’s why he didn’t make 170. He fought at 185, is cause it was impossible to train. He just didn’t have any strength. He didn’t have what you’re used to, the Nick Diaz, you know, he didn’t have it.”

Gracie paints an unfortunate picture of Diaz ahead of the fight, which begs the question: why was Diaz fighting in the first place? Well, according to Gracie, the answer was what one might expect: money.

“Nick had to pretty much take that fight,” Gracie said. “There was a lot of things weighing in on him. What people don’t know is that the commission in Vegas was still demanding their money from — remember the marijuana test that we didn’t pass? ... They said ‘you still owe us that $75,000.’ I think it was some insane amount. You know, it was like, ‘What? You still have to pay it? Even though it’s legal now?’ When that happened, it wasn’t, and we want to, and so we gotta. ‘You’re gonna have to deduct it from your fight purse.’ And Nick really hadn’t signed the best contract in the world. And so what happened was, they said, we’ll pay you more money, but you have to fight this fight here, and on this date. It was a thing. It was like, if you don’t take that fight, you’re almost gonna fight for free, you know, by the time [you pay taxes and the fine].”

“Obviously, people know, that’s not a secret, he had some tax issues in the past. He had to pay that fine, which, you know, it was just, you had to do it. It was like, well, Nick, he had his back on the wall. And it was one of those unfortunate things where he had to fight, and that’s it. And that’s what happened. It was one of those things in life and, and he manned up and he did it. He did it.”

After the fight, Diaz had discs replaced in his neck and is now showing signs of his old self, according to Gracie. As such, Gracie believes Diaz will return to fighting next year, and he’ll look much better than he did at UFC 266.

“So, we finally were able to go and he got an operation and he put the titanium discs in his neck. So, he’s feeling great from that right now,” Gracie said. “And it’s like we’re getting the old Nick back, which is really good. So, now that that’s happened, we’re waiting for the doctors. He’s got another appointment I think next month. And then he should be cleared to start his hard training again. Because right now he can only run and hit the pads and everything. But he definitely wants to fight. And the UFC, I’ve been in contact with them, they just actually called me the other day asking about Nick, and there’s some pretty cool fight options that are in front of us...

“He does enjoy competing, he does enjoy being a martial artist. And if he can do things on his terms like that, then he loves it. And so that’s where he’s at. And so he does wanna fight again. He feels like, especially now, I think he feels like he has something to prove. For me, I don’t care if he ever fights again. Because he’s an amazing teacher, there’s all kind of stuff that he can do. But he wants to do it for him. So, that’s where we’re at.”


Results. Jamahal Hill knocked out Thiago Santos in the main event of UFC Vegas 59.

Results. Stevie Ray won a unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis at PFL Playoffs 1.

Tragedy. Jiu-jitsu legend Leandro Lo shot to death in Brazil.

Performance. Jamahal Hill explains why he wasn’t happy with his win at UFC Vegas 59, calls for Jiri Prochazka fight.

Callout. Julianna Peña calls out Amanda Nunes for trilogy: ‘I’m ready to go round 8 … where you at, Amanda?’


UFC Vegas 59 Post Show.

UFC Vegas 59 Post Fight Press Conference.

Michael Chandler interview.

PFL highlights.

Some videos on Leandro Lo technique vids, in case you didn’t know about him.

Paddy Pimblett after UFC London.


On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC on Vegas 59.




Call out.

Champ Champ.

Amanda Nunes.

Jake Paul.

Philosophical question.


Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.



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