- Nick Diaz’s coach explains why he fought Robbie Lawler with a neck injury.
- He also explains that Nick Diaz wants to fight again in 2023.
The return of Nick Diaz last year was an unexpected occurrence in MMA. For over five years Diaz sat on the sideline while his brother Nate rose to stardom. Following suspensions for a failed drug test and a failure to complete whereabouts protocols, Diaz was able to return to fighting in 2018, when he didn’t come back right away some doubted that he ever would, but then in 2021, a fight popped up with Robbie Lawler. Diaz went on to lose that fight by third-round KO. Following the bout, he seemed to retire and many people questioned his motives for a return in the first place.
In the leadup to the fight with Lawler, Diaz seemed uninterested in fighting and in an interview with ESPN explained that he did not even want to fight. So why did he do it? Diaz’s longtime coach Cesar Gracie explained a bit in an interview with Submission Radio about what went down in the making of that bout.
“Nick had to pretty much take that fight,” Gracie explained. “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 that from remember the marijuana test, and it didn’t pass?” Gracie said. “It’s not a secret that he had some tax issues in the past. He had to pay that fine, which, 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.”
Diaz fought through a pretty serious injury against Lawler
Diaz took some heat for his pre-fight deminer leading up to the fight with Lawler. Many people believed he should not have returned to competition, but Gracie explained that Diaz was dealing his a serious injury during fight camp that no one knew at the time.
“I never knew what was wrong with him,” Gracie said. “So after the fight and everything we kept looking for what’s going on because he passed his pre-fight stuff and finally, we got these MRIs on his neck and the doctor said ‘look, I cannot believe you just fought, you be walking.'”
.@CesarGracieBJJ confirms he’s looking at “the early part of 2023” for Nick Diaz’s UFC return:
“there’s some pretty cool fight options that are in front of us.”
— Submission Radio (@SubmissionRadio) August 8, 2022
Nick Diaz is planning another fight in 2023
With all that drama going into the fight, it is a wonder that he competed at all. After the long layoff and injury, Diaz appeared to have walked away from the fight game, or at least competition. However, Gracie is stating that Diaz is planning a return in 2023. He must first continue his healing from this neck injury but wants to fight again. He said the UFC is on board and has some options in mind for his return.