It may be on-sight for the Diaz army and boxer Esquiva Falcao.
An Olympic silver medalist who is undefeated as a professional boxer, Falcao recently made headlines for his criticism of Nate Diaz’s boxing skills following a sparring session between the two in a Los Angeles gym. In an Instagram video filmed earlier this month, Falcao called Diaz “bad,” “overweight,” and said the UFC veteran “looked like he was dying” by the end of their spar. Falcao, who’s scheduled to face Vincenzo Gualtieri for the vacant IBF title on July 1, also said a coach asked him to “hold back” so Diaz could make it through 10 rounds.
With Diaz readying to make his professional boxing debut in a blockbuster match against Jake Paul on August 5, Falcao’s comments quickly went viral. On The MMA Hour, Diaz’s longtime teammate Chris Avila pushed back on Falcao’s assessment of the scene.
“Bro, that guy got f***** up,” Avila said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “Yeah, we just got back — we were out in LA and we went to a boxing gym, this guy’s like a silver medalist out of Brazil and whatever. He’s 30-0, he’s fighting for a world title next week. And then boxers are like that — they’re pretty dumb. They’re passive. They’re really passive.
“So Nate sparred this guy, did 12 rounds. Bro, he got f****** up. He lost every round, then afterward he immediately goes to the coach, ‘Oh, I’m cutting weight, that’s why I didn’t look too good.’ And then you see on his [Instagram] story, it’s in Portuguese so we had somebody translate — and he was talking s***.”
The beef didn’t stop there.
According to Avila, Falcao returned to the gym the next day and pulled the exact same move against him — sparring Avila and then talking trash afterward. But because of the language barrier caused by Falcao’s comments being made in Portuguese, no one on Team Diaz realized what had been said until after both spars were already in the books.
“The next day we went back and the coach was like, ‘Yo, he wants to spar you,’” Avila recounted. “So I sparred him, and then he lost every round again — and he still said goes and talks some more shit in Portuguese. But we didn’t know until after all the sparring.
“Anyways, to that guy, f*** that guy too.”
For now, both Avila and Diaz continue to prepare for their big nights on August 5, with Avila set to face fellow ex-UFC fighter Jeremy Stephens on the Paul vs. Diaz pay-per-view card.
Fellow teammates Alan Sanchez, Jose Aguayo, and Luciano Ramos are also expected to compete on the card. And while Diaz may be a heavy betting underdog against Paul, Avila says don’t be surprised if the Diaz Army shocks a few people by pulling off a massive night.
“He’s looking like a beast, like he always is,” Avila said of Diaz.
“He’s doing really good, he’s looking sharp. And to all the haters out there, be surprised.”