EXCLUSIVE – Robert Whittaker on Nate Diaz’s UFC 279 Victory; ‘He Makes a Mockery of It Sometimes’

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker discusses Nate Diaz's final outing in the Octagon at UFC 279 against Tony Ferguson

Robert Whitaker

Former UFC middleweight world champion Robert Whittaker sat down for an exclusive interview with James Lynch of MiddleEasy to talk about this past weekend’s UFC 279 card. The event featured an unprecedented shake-up that resulted in a majority of the main card bouts being reshuffled 36 hours from showtime. In the end, things went off without and hitch, and fans were treated to a card that many believe was better than what they were previously promised.

In the main event of the evening, Nate Diaz appeared for what could be his final outing inside the Octagon. He walked away from the UFC with a submission victory over fellow fan favorite Tony Ferguson. It was his first submission win since defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 196 in 2016. Robert Whittaker spoke about Diaz’s performance, saying he was happy for the man from 209.

“That was just classic Nate. It’s him just chillin’ in the fight, taking time off. He makes a mockery of it sometimes, but that’s just classic Nate Diaz. I was very happy with him, for him getting the win. I’m a big Ferguson fan, but to wrap up his career the way he has. I’m very very happy for Nate.” 

Robert Whittaker Believes Nate Diaz is a Better Boxer Than a Kickboxer

During his UFC 279 post-fight interview, Nate Diaz confirmed he wants to go and become the best in other sports, but refused to elaborate beyond that statement. Of course, most speculate that Diaz will head to the squared circle for big money match-ups against potential challengers such as Jake Paul. Speaking about Diaz’s skills and how they will hold up in the world of boxing, Robert Whittaker said:

“It’s hard to say. It’s hard to say. I think Nate’s a better boxer than he is a kickboxer. You can see him utilize his boxing skillset more than his kicks and whatnot in his fight repertoire. How it goes against [boxers], I think he’ll do very well.

“He’s got the eye for it, he’s got the brain for it. He’s a good boxer. We’ll wait and see how he adjusts and stuff. I know though during his camps and during his training especially, he does a lot of boxing. I’m sure he’ll do fine.”

Before his UFC 279 swan song, Nate Diaz announced that he was launching his own combat sports promotion, Real Fight Inc. The promotion is slated to combine multiple combat sports, similar to ONE Championship. It’s unclear if Diaz will fight under his own promotion’s banner, but he could use his name recognition to co-promote big money fights.

During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Nate Diaz left the door open for a UFC return in the future. 

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