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On this day last year, Conor McGregor came to the defense of a certain Nick Diaz.
At UFC 266, Nick Diaz was set to return after a six-year layoff in a fight against Robbie Lawler.
Looking ahead to the fight, Diaz expressed his ambivalence towards the whole process. A viral interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto particularly caught the public’s attention, with Diaz bluntly wondering why he’s fighting again, even stating he doesn’t want to.
This drew a lot of reactions from the MMA community, including well-known journalist Ariel Helwani. As for the biggest name in the sport, Conor McGregor, he didn’t see what the fuss was about.
Nick Diaz then lost that UFC 266 fight to Robbie Lawler via retirement/TKO. The legendary fighter has not competed since.
In recent news, McGregor once again had encouraging words for Diaz, with the Irishman publicly praising him for his charitable deeds this year.
As for his MMA career, there have been no updates on when Diaz might return to action. However, his trainer recently explained why Diaz was having weight issues leading up to his UFC 266 fight against Lawler.
The following article is brought to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA News Archives.
On this day a year ago…
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 24, 2021, 8:00 AM]
Headline: Conor McGregor reacts to backlash over recent Nick Diaz interview
Author: Fernando Quiles Jr.
Conor McGregor has offered his take on the hype surrounding ESPN’s interview with Nick Diaz.
Diaz is due to return to the Octagon this Saturday night (September 25). He will collide with Robbie Lawler in a rematch. The first two faced each other in 2004. Diaz took the victory by knockout in the second round.
Speaking to Brett Okamoto, Diaz asked why he was fighting Lawler again (via oscar willis).
“I don’t know why I’m doing this. … This shouldn’t happen. Whoever put this up is an idiot. I don’t know why I do this. I don’t know why it happened. I should fight Kamaru Usman – and that’s it.
Diaz also admitted that he never liked fighting. These comments from the Stockton native were alarming to some, including famed MMA journalist Ariel Helwani.
“As I openly wonder, is Nick fighting because he wants to or because he has to? If we were all honest, we all know that. 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 sounds weird.
McGregor responded by coming to Diaz’s defense.
“Relax, it’s scrap metal, he loves it. It’s great to see Nick again. And Robby. It’s a perfect match! I pray for both a strong performance, a great fight, and safe and healthy the next morning with all the great memories and experiences this crazy buzz is giving them/us/me. God protects you.”
Diaz has not competed since January 2015. He first dropped a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva. This result was changed to 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 be long before we know if the concerns were warranted or if this is a case of over-analysis.