Fans of Nick Diaz were likely uninspired by the performance shown in his long-awaited return to the Octagon last September, but there appears to have been a solid reason behind his bizarre showing.
However, the excitement for this contest was somewhat dampened by antics prior to the fight that saw the contest bumped from welterweight to middleweight on short notice, at the behest of the Stockton native as well as the lackluster physical condition that accompanied Diaz en route to a third round TKO defeat.
Nick Diaz Fought Severely Injured
Despite many questions as to why Nick Diaz was unable to make the agreed upon weight of 170lb, there was never really much in the way of a clear answer provided. That all changed when his long-time coach and friend Cesar Gracie revealed in an interview with Submission Radio that the reason for the uncharacteristic behavior from the former Strikeforce champ, was due to him having two ruptured discs in his neck prior to the contest.
“(Diaz) went into that fight, and his neck was pretty messed up. Robbie’s a great, tough fighter and everything, and Nick was doing great, and then you see Nick kinda just fading as the fight wore on. So, Nick had an operation very recently here, seven weeks ago,” Gracie said.
“Two of the discs ruptured in his neck before the fight, so he was having numbness of the hands. So that’s why he didn’t make the 170, he fought at 185… It was impossible to train. He just didn’t have any strength; he didn’t have what you’re used to (with) Nick Diaz. He just didn’t have it.
“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, and it’s like we’re getting the old Nick back, which is really good.”
Cesar Gracie went on to explain that Nick Diaz is looking to get cleared for hard training in the coming weeks, as he is very limited in what he can do now. It will be interesting to see how he looks if he chooses to take another fight and is in better physical condition the second time around.
Do you think Nick Diaz would have defeated Robbie Lawler under different circumstances?