Friday, December 9, 2022

Archives: McGregor Reacts To Backlash Over Nick Diaz Interview (2021)

On this day last year, Conor McGregor came to the defense of one Nick Diaz.

At UFC 266, Nick Diaz was scheduled to make his return after a six-year layoff in a bout against Robbie Lawler.

In the lead-up to the fight, Diaz expressed ambivalence to the entire process. One viral interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto especially drew public attention, with Diaz outright questioning why he’s fighting again, even stating that he didn’t want to do it.

This drew wide reactions from the MMA community, including renowned journalist Ariel Helwani. As for the biggest name in the sport, Conor McGregor, he failed to see what all the fuss was about.

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Nick Diaz went on to lose that UFC 266 bout to Robbie Lawler via retirement/TKO. The legendary fighter has not competed since.

In recent news, McGregor again had encouraging words for Diaz, with the Irishman publicly praising him for his charitable deeds this year.

As far as his MMA career, there’s been no updates on when Diaz might return to action. However, his coach did recently shed light on why Diaz had weight issues leading into his UFC 266 bout against Lawler.

The following article is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA News Archives.

On This Day One Year Ago…


Headline: Conor McGregor Reacts To Backlash Over Recent Nick Diaz Interview

Author: Fernando Quiles Jr.

Conor McGregor has offered his take on the hoopla surrounding ESPN’s interview with Nick Diaz.

Diaz is scheduled to return to the Octagon this Saturday night (Sept. 25). He will collide with Robbie Lawler in a rematch. The two first competed against one another back in 2004. Diaz got the win via second-round knockout.

Speaking to Brett Okamoto, Diaz questioned why he’s even fighting Lawler again (via Oscar Willis).

“I don’t know why I’m doing this. … This should not happen. Whoever set this up is an idiot. I don’t know why I’m doing this. I don’t know why this happened. I should be fighting Kamaru Usman — and that’s it.”

Diaz also admitted he never enjoyed fighting. These comments from the Stockton native have been alarming to some, including renowned MMA reporter Ariel Helwani.

“As I’ve been openly wondering, is Nick fighting because he wants to or because he has to? If we were all being honest, we all know. He hasn’t liked fighting for years. He deserves better than all of this, and I hope he can find peace and be safe. It all feels weird.”

McGregor responded by coming to Diaz’s defense.

“Relax, it’s a scrap, he loves it. Great to see Nick back. And Robbie. It is a perfect match! I pray for both a solid performance, a great fight, and safe and healthy the next morning with all the beautiful memories and experiences this mad buzz gives them / us / me. God Bless.”

Diaz has not competed since Jan. 2015. He initially dropped a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva. That result was changed to a No Contest after Silva tested positive for banned substances.

Whether or not Diaz is ready to return, fight night is almost here. It won’t take long before we find out if the worries were warranted or if it’s a case of overanalyzing.