Nick Diaz said leading up to his UFC 183 headlining bout against former middleweight champion Anderson Silva that he loved and hated fighting. He struggled with the duality. On one hand, he’s apprehensive about the industry and the lasting effects on him physically, but also knows that fighting is his main source of income.
He’s voiced his opinion that he, and mixed martial artists in general, should be paid more.
He famously said during a 2011 media conference call, “(Manny) Pacquaio’s making 40 (expletive) million dollars; GSP’s (Georges St-Pierre) making a couple million dollars. I’m over here (expletive) driving a Honda and my (expletive) breaking down? (Expletive) all you mother (expletive).”
Following his loss to former welterweight titleholder St-Pierre at UFC 158 in March 2013, Diaz contemplated retirement.
“I have to decide if I even want to do this anymore,” he said immediately following the loss. “To be honest, I don’t know if I really got any more. I don’t make excuses; I think I’m done with mixed martial arts. I’m tired of getting banged up like this.”
When offered a fight against the widely considered greatest fighter in combat sport’s history, Diaz was intrigued and enticed out of a nearly two-year semi-retirement to face Silva at UFC 183. After losing by unanimous decision, Diaz wasn’t sure if he’d compete again.
“I don’t know. We’ll figure it out. I’m always asking myself a few days before these fights, ‘what the hell am I doing?’ But I don’t need much to get by,” said the former WEC and Strikeforce champion.
UFC president Dana White discussed Diaz’ future with the promotion while fielding questions from the media at the post-fight press conference.
“I don’t think it’s about what I think is going to happen to Nick Diaz. What’s Nick Diaz going to do next? You know what I mean? Who knows? Who knows what Nick’s going to do,” said White. “Nick made a lot of money tonight. You might not see him for three years this time.”
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I love the people. I love the training. I love how the sport has evolved into what it is today. I love my fans. I’m grateful for everything,” were the last things Diaz said before exiting the cage on Saturday. It may have been him saying goodbye.