Joe Rogan agrees with Nick Diaz that he didn’t have enough time to get ready for his return.
Diaz (26-10 MMA, 7-7 UFC) came back from a six-and-a-half-year layoff to rematch Robbie Lawler at UFC 266, and he didn’t appear to be in his best physical form after requesting the fight be contested at 185 pounds instead of welterweight as originally scheduled.
Lawler exacted his revenge 17 years later from their first meeting at UFC 47, scoring a third-round TKO of Diaz after Diaz elected not to continue when he was dropped by a pair of punches. Following the fight, Diaz claimed that the way the fight was set up was a “bum rap” and that he had a lot of stress coming into it. His training partner and fellow former Strikeforce champion, Jake Shields, suggested that Diaz was pressured into taking the fight and only had six weeks to train, which Rogan thinks was evident in his performance.
“My thing about Nick Diaz is, when I looked at him physically, I was like, I don’t know how much he’s been training,” Rogan said on his “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. “When Nick was in his prime, he was really lean. He’s definitely an older guy now, but the thing is, I don’t think you can just jump back in that easy after six years out of the sport. I think you’d probably need more time to prepare.
“I don’t know how much time he had to prepare and why they agreed to do a fight on short notice, because I think it was only six weeks’ notice – which I think is fine if you’re Michael Chandler, if you’re in peak form right now and you’re ready to go and someone gives you six weeks. I bet you can get ready for a fight. But if you’re a guy who has been off for that long, you’re gonna need more time, I think. I’m just guessing. I don’t know how much time it took him.”
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Rogan, who wasn’t on commentary duty at UFC 266, thought Diaz gave a decent account of himself but would like to see him put the adequate amount of time into his preparation before taking another fight.
“My point was, he didn’t do that bad for a guy that was out six (years),” Rogan said. “Robbie Lawler was pressuring him, and he was putting it on him, and he was definitely getting the better of the exchanges, but it’s not like Nick Diaz didn’t have his moments. He definitely did. He would just have to have way more time to prepare, and he would have to be really ready to go. Like the old Nick Diaz, like the Nick Diaz that fought Anderson Silva, like the Nick Diaz that fought Georges St-Pierre, like the Nick Diaz that fought Paul Daley in Strikeforce, that dude was a f*cking killer.”
He continued, “Can he still do that at 38? Well, maybe. We don’t know if you just have one fight. You need time. If you’re body hasn’t been used to this stuff and you haven’t been training as much as you were when you were in your prime, if you still want to do it again legitimately, physically he probably can. But it’s like, you run a marathon, when you start out and you run a mile and you’re dead, and you’re like, ‘I can’t believe anyone can run 26 of those,’ but if you do it over and over and over again, you build up. I don’t think he had a chance to build back up after being off for that much time. I think you get back to where he was Nick Diaz at his best, he’s got to have some time.”
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