“Don’t be scared, homie.” It’s one of many Diazisms that resides within the popular lexicon of MMA fans. The famous phrase was uttered by Nick Diaz towards K.J. Noons after their first fight in Strikeforce back in 2007.
For the Diaz brothers the phrase is not just a put-down. It also highlights part of the reputation they have cultivated around themselves; that they’ll fight anyone, anywhere. However, one UFC fighter is now questioning that aspect of the Diaz mystique.
At the UFC 274 press conference yesterday former interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje ripped into Nate Diaz over a dispute they were having online. That dispute included Diaz mocking Gaethje’s 2020 loss to undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Specifically, Diaz found it funny that Gaethje would succumb to a mounted triangle.
“I heard he turned down Khabib about 20 times,” charged Gaethje (ht MMA Junkie). “So for him to shit on me for losing to Khabib, I find that hilarious.”
Instances of Diaz turning down fights with Nurmagomedov aren’t widely reported, but that doesn’t mean they never happened. Gaethje most likely got this information from the manager he shares with Nurmagedov, Ali Abdelaziz, but that doesn’t mean they did happen.
Gaethje then went on to talk about Diaz’s rumoured upcoming fight with Khamzat Chimaev, a fight which has been in the ether ever since shots inside the UFC war room (displaying boards listing dozens of unannounced fights) went viral.
“But if he’s fighting Khamzat next, then I have to give him some credit,” said Gaethje. “Of course (I don’t think he’ll win). But I’m a fan of the sport because anything can happen at any time. He’s not going to outwrestle him. He doesn’t even have the power to shut someone’s light out on accident. So, no. No chance. He has a zero percent chance – a one percent chance.”
“That motherfucker has lost over 15 times, like, come on,” Gaethje added. “So for him to be criticizing me for one loss, I found it funny. And I think he’s jealous because he’s done. He’ll never be here. He’ll never be fighting for a world championship. He’ll never achieve a world championship. In the history books, I’m already a world champion. I don’t like it. I don’t accept it. I need to make it right on Saturday but I’ll be in the Hall of Fame. He should be, too, but just because the fans love him.”
Gaethje is slated to challenge Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title this weekend. He earned his shot with a win over Michael Chandler last November.
Diaz last appeared in the Octagon at UFC 263 last June. There he lost a unanimous decision to Leon Edwards. That was his first fight since a doctor stoppage (cut) loss to Jorge Masvidal in late 2019.
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