Nick Diaz’s long-time friend and training partner Jake Shields has claimed the Stockon star was pressured into making his long-awaited comeback to the Octagon against Robbie Lawler before he was ready.
“Nick Diaz is a f***ing legend,” Sheilds wrote on Twitter after Diaz was TKO’d in the third round by Lawler in their UFC 266 rematch last night.
“6 years off And six weeks to train and still makes fight of the night.”
When a fan asked why Diaz only had six weeks to prepare, Shields responded that he , “Wanted to do a fight later but was pressured to take it before he was ready. People care about money not his health.”
“Snakes everywhere,” Shields also told another fan.
Diaz had also spoken out both pre and post-fight about his surprise that the rematch had been made, suggesting that it wasn’t really what he wanted.
“I don’t know how this fight got set up,” Diaz said in the Octagon after the fight. “I had a switch-up in my whole management set-up and the way the fight got set up. It was just a bum wrap. But no excuses. I had it coming. He was in great shape. I knew I was leaking here, so I didn’t want to make too much of a mess. I’m glad to be back. I’m glad I put on a good show for you.”
However, it should be noted that the fight was actually announced over 10 weeks ago, and Lawler did talk post-fight about how he was in good shape because he’d had 10 weeks to prepare.
Perhaps there’s more to the story than we know though, and certainly Diaz didn’t appear to be in the best shape physically on fight night, and of course the fact that he got the bout switched to middleweight during fight week also suggests that one way or another his training camp hadn’t gone as smoothly as he would have hoped.