Diaz questions Lawler booking, says he should be fighting Usman
Nick Diaz is having doubts about whether he made the right decision by agreeing to a rematch against Robbie Lawler at UFC 266.
The former welterweight title challenger is set to return to the Octagon in a middleweight contest Saturday in Las Vegas after more than six years away from the sport.
Even though he hasn't won since 2011, Diaz said Wednesday he should be fighting welterweight champion Kamaru Usman instead of someone he's already beaten - 17 years ago at UFC 47.
"I think I'll beat the shit out of Usman," Diaz told ESPN's Brett Okamoto. "I'll have a better shot against Usman than I do Lawler, just because I already beat Lawler. This doesn't make sense for me to go in and fight Robbie Lawler again. I don't know why I'm doing this. ... This should not happen. Whoever set this up is an idiot. I don't know why I'm doing this. I don't know why this happened. I should be fighting Kamaru Usman - and that's it."
Diaz, one of the most popular fighters in MMA history, has expressed resentment toward the sport for some time. Heading into his return against Lawler, Diaz made it sound like he needs to fight more so than he wants to.
"All the people around me and all the money and the sponsors, they won't let me get away from fighting," Diaz said. "There's things I could do, but that's not gonna work out. I might as well just go and take my punches."
However, part of Diaz thinks he would regret deciding never to fight again.
"I don't want to look back and say, 'Why did I not just do it?'" Diaz said. "I don't feel great. I feel great to fight. I don't feel great about everything (else). If I don't do this, I don't know how I'm going to feel about myself."
Diaz couldn't give a straight answer when asked why he came back to fighting in 2021.
"It's just what I do," Diaz said. "I tried to get away from it, but really, it's just kind of inevitable."