Joe Rogan has witnessed a young Nick Diaz flourish as one of the most popular fighters on the UFC roster.

Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) returns to the octagon after an almost six-year layoff on Saturday when he rematches Robbie Lawler (28-15 MMA, 13-9 UFC) at UFC 266.

Rogan, who was on the call for the first Diaz-Lawler fight at UFC 47, lauded the Stockton star for his unmatched volume and pace, which was on full display when he knocked out Lawler in the second round more than 17 years ago.

“Nick Diaz changed the game in terms of his elite cardio,” Rogan said in a recent episode of his “Joe Rogan Podcast.” “He did something that was a new thing and that new thing was, he’s not gonna hit you with a hundred percent power, he’s gonna hit you with 50 percent. But he’s gonna hit you twice as much, and you’re never going to get to breathe, and he’s gonna stay on top of you, and he’s gonna talk to you the whole time. Psychologically he’s going to disrupt your breathing by constantly hitting you and once he realizes you’re hurt, then he’s digging to the body, then he’s putting it on you. On top of that, blackbelt jiu-jitsu skills, really good wrestling takedown defense, chin made of iron, and unstoppable will.”

He continued, “Those guys (Diaz brothers) do a lot of triathlons. That’s one of the reasons why they’re so durable. That’s why they’re always in insane shape. They don’t get tired like everybody else gets tired. They have insane endurance.”

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Rogan recalled Diaz’s trash talk in the fight when he was able to eat Lawler’s best shots and kept coming forward, which Rogan thinks threw Lawler off guard.

“The first thing he (Diaz) does when he gets into the octagon, he looks over at Robbie and goes, ‘Stockton, motherf*cker! Stockton!’” Rogan said. “And then he starts walking around and Robbie was like, ‘What is he talking about?’”

Rogan, who commentated both Diaz’s first meeting with Lawler and his most recent fight in 2015, won’t be calling Diaz’s return on Saturday due to a conflict in his schedule.



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