Nick Diaz – The Gracie Open and His Fight Future
By Dave Carpinello
Strikeforce middleweight Nick Diaz recently took some time to talk with PDG about his recent grappling match, drug testing, training and why he isn’t fighting on November 7th.
PDG: You competed last week in the ‘Gracie Open’ against Lucas Leite in a no-gi jiu-jitsu match; how did the match go?
Nick Diaz: I lost my match but it was one of the best Gracie Opens I have seen. My brother had an exciting match and the whole event was a good time.
PDG: Was the competition at this event better than previous ones?
Nick Diaz: Yes and it was a good experience for me to train and then compete in the event. I was a little confused by how they did the times; it was a 20 minute match and only the second 10 minute portion was scored.
PDG: How did you lose your match?
Nick Diaz: I lost to the half guard sweep even though I had been training for it. There’s a lot to it because I didn’t feel like I was going to be able to score so I tried to open up to get my opponent to commit to something and the whole match pretty much went like that. He played it very smart and didn’t let me get a hold of anything. I don’t have a lot of time to do these jiu-jitsu matches and I have a hard time doing the scoring game. I gave him a lot of chances to engage with takedowns or taking my back but he just stayed back and played the point game. That’s why he is a world champion and I really didn’t expect to beat him. In fact I lost just how I thought I would. I don’t necessarily love fighting but I do love to compete in jiu-jitsu.
PDG: So overall it was a good learning experience for you?
Nick Diaz: Yeah it was great and I want to compete more in those type of events. It is just hard to find the time to train in between my regular fights that I have to do to make money. Although as long as I don’t have to cut weight and they keep these weight classes I should be able to compete more going forward.
PDG: It sounds like you’re enjoying that more than the guys that keep calling you out in Strikeforce.
Nick Diaz: I haven’t really been paying any attention to them. I do what I do and I don’t stress over all that other shit. I just continue to train and when it’s time to fight it’s time to fight regardless of who it is. I don’t really concern myself with all of the surrounding noise before I get into the ring. When it is time to develop a game plan or strategy for a fight than I focus on that but otherwise I’m focused on other things in my life besides my job.
PDG: Are you disappointed that you’re not fighting on the November 7th card headlined by Fedor vs. Brett Rogers?
Nick Diaz: A lot of people were saying stuff in interviews that I didn’t want to fight them and basically just running their mouths but I told Strikeforce I was ready to go. Then some of the possible opponents said they didn’t have enough preparation time and all kinds of other bullshit. You know these wrestlers get all juiced up or amped up for whatever reason like they’re training for the Olympics and so they can’t fight as often. I don’t agree with that and I believe that if fighting is going to be a part of your life you have to always be ready to fight. Too bad nobody wanted to fight me so that we could make some money. It would have been really nice to fight on that card and I told them I was game for it.
PDG: Are there any lingering effects to the controversy involving your drug test by the CSAC?
Nick Diaz: I am more than willing to take and pass any type of drug test and I don’t appreciate the people out there spreading rumors to the contrary. I would have passed that last drug test if they hadn’t made it so hard for me to go get tested. I didn’t even want to take that fight after Joe Riggs pulled out of the fight. I had an opponent for the fight and he pulled out like a scared little bitch and so then they tell me I’m going to fight Jay Hieron and he has been training nonstop for a fight. It wasn’t good timing for me as I was dealing with a lot of issues at the time; so after they were given me the runaround with the drug test I just said fine I don’t want the fight. So after that all the rumors start circling about me being dirty and not being able to pass the drug test. It’s bullshit to have to defend yourself and constantly have to answer questions when I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not like I’m out there taking steroids to increase my abilities and performance so I don’t see what the big problem is.
PDG: So will your next fight be for Strikeforce or DREAM?
Nick Diaz: You will probably know before I know because that is how it has been lately. I find out I’m fighting because it’s on the internet and people are talking about it on forums.
PDG: Thanks for your time Nick. Is there anything else you wanted to add?
Nick Diaz: I want to say thanks to the fans out there that appreciate good mixed martial arts. I also want to thank Chase Chevrolet in Stockton and the rest of my sponsors and the teammates that help me train everyday.
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