Nick Diaz Won’t Fight His Brothers; Says Jones & Evans Not True Teammates

March 31, 2011
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Nick DiazIf you want to discuss the subject of teammates fighting each other, it’s not something the guys working out of Team Cesar Gracie take kindly to.

With all the recent hype around former Team Jackson training partners Jon “Bones” Jones and Rashad Evans choosing to fight each other, the question has come up among several other camps.

Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz has never been one to hold his tongue when asked a question. Simply put, he doesn’t think Jones and Evans were really teammates to begin with.

“They’re not real training partners though,” Diaz said about Jones and Evans. “You don’t understand, they’re like 10 years apart for one and they didn’t grow up training together. That guy’s just brand new into the sport. He’s just doing whatever, they’ve got him busy making photo shoots and press conferences, and conference calls and all this.

“I’m missing practice being on this. I’m missing a very serious practice. I’ve got a lot of people in front of me on the mat right now training and I need my practice.”

Diaz makes references to his own teammates like current UFC welterweight contender Jake Shields and his brother Nate Diaz who fight at 170 pounds in the UFC. Diaz wants no part of that discussion, and he will never ever fight one of them with anything on the line.

“That’s what they’ve got them doing and they’re not focused on what’s important to them in life. I’ve got what works, and I’ve got what’s got me there and that’s my team. That’s a disgusting thought to have to fight my brother. I don’t even appreciate being asked about that,” Diaz said.

Diaz’s teammate, Jake Shields, will of course be fighting Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 129 in late April, but the current Strikeforce champion says they only battle in training; that’s just going to have to be enough.

“I fought with him today, yesterday in training,” Diaz said about Shields.

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, who also trains with Diaz and Shields, feels exactly the same way and puts his training partners in a whole different category.

They’re family.

“It’s more than training partners. We’re a family,” Melendez stated. “Someone like Nick, Nate, and Jake, they’ve all helped me become the fighter I am. How am I going to use these skills they taught me against them? We help each other get better, it’s just not right.”

Even with titles or money on the line, Melendez believes there will always be another fight available and he’ll choose that option before he’d ever fight one of his closest friends.

“If you’re turning around offering me $10 million dollars to fight my boy, then I’m sure someone’s going to offer me $8 million to fight somebody else,” Melendez said. “I’ll definitely take a pay cut or whatnot.

“It runs deeper than money and team. It’s family and loyalty.”


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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  • illeeturbabys

    no one cares about diaz or his brothers, thats y he has to keep making comments about th ufc, hes a minor league champion thts all…..

  • youdosuck

    Then why fight? It’s not about money you say Mr. Diaz. If one teammate is champion, then fight.

  • illeeturbabys

    sounz like there are sum teammates tht hes afraid of….

  • barchiva86

    Cocain is a hell of a drug!!…ha team-mates will eventually have to fight if they fight in the same weight class and one of them is champion…period….get over it …fight eachother, then get back to training

  • XIRandomHeroIX

    I get having training partners and respecting one another but MMA is not a team sport.A true warrior would welcome any challenger, these fights are not personal they are professional. Besides, what better way to bond than to go into the octagon and have a war.

  • shereko

    Nick, and well Nate for that matter are morons… plain and simple. Its a sport and a business. His opinion doesn’t matter and nobody cares. Basically, if someone was to turn down a fight because of team love then they aren’t professional. I can see if its for no reason but not when it means a title or even contender-ship. Keep your mouth shut Diaz boyz nobody cares. Plus nobody wants to hear your gay lisp that you try to cover with F bombs.

  • shereko

    Ohhh wait did I use Diaz and professional in the same post? My bad… Nick is the same guy that picked a fight with Joe Riggs in a hospital after a fight, and the same guy that ganged up on Mayhem… ohh thats right he has tons of morals and class.

  • http://norcalhub.com Heath

    Aaron Simpson and Mark Munoz are my favorite example of this…they are great friends and Aaron was even Marks coach for years. When they fought in the cage there was ferocity, intensity and respect. They smiled in between good exchanges and shook hands a lot but they didn’t pull any punches and they put on an amazing fight.
    True maturity and real depth in their relationship was shown. They are still friends now, have more money in their pockets and put on one of the best fights I have ever seen in the UFC.
    I think it’s silly. It’s a sport. You don’t see Jerry rice getting traded from SF to Oakland and not catching balls. You would never see someone in another sport pull punches in
    their play because they were on the other team the week before.
    The lack of morals and understanding is what drives these emotional outbursts from fighters. What if Rashad and Jon Bones were the perenial top two fighters in the UFC? What if they wiped out the entire weight class and never fought each other? That would be bad for the UFC, bad for the sport and bad for their careers.
    If this is going to be taken seriously as a sport then people need to treat it like a sport, not a street brawl, it’s not personal, it’s professional.

  • ShockednAwed

    Ty Domi and Wendle Clarke – best of friends, some say they actually are cousins, and I think both acted as best-man for the others’ wedding… they had some memorable hockey fights. Domi and Bob Probert were also known to spend the evening drinking together as good friends a few hours after beating the hell out of eachother on the ice.

    I always imagine poker players saying the same things… “Nah, I can’t play against Billy, he’s like my brother, and I don’t want to see him bankrupt.”

    Nick Diaz is a moron who obviously looks at what he’s doing as a professional Fight Club. He can talk about it being a sport, but if he meant those words, he wouldn’t have any problem stepping into the ring against even Nate. He only thinks it’s so distasteful because, even if it’s only on a subconsious level, to him it’s about beating someone up – not winning a contest.

  • CobraCastro

    you guys aren’t for real.
    I train MMA and would never fight my teammates.
    We are a TEAM in MMA.
    we train together, to get better, not to fight against each other for money,
    we fight against each other but in training.
    Sparring to become sharper.
    I respect team Gracie and Nick Diaz.
    now I’ll let you fatties continue eating chips on your sofa.

    • shereko

      So Cobra, you think its good to start fights outside of the cage? To start fights in a hospital after the fight? Ohh thats right you’re another thug wanna be. Never mind I won’t try to reason with ya because you have the intellect of a farm animal. I’ll let you try to sound out a few words, and go back to stickin a needle in y’er ass

    • ShockednAwed

      MMA is NOT a team sport. One man stands to win or lose in the ring, not a team.

      You could claim everyone in MMA is a ‘team’, and at the end of the day, you’d be right… so does this mean quit the combat altogether and settle bouts with a chess match instead?

      Seriously, if you don’t want to take on your teammates because they’re better than you, fine – but don’t hide behind this, “They’re my family” bullshit, because it just sounds so fucking queer.

  • dikkimac

    Well said CobraCastro! It’s the guys that have never touched the mat that say fight your friend and training partner, because they have no clue on the true bond that you make with your teammates!

    • ShockednAwed

      Tell us more about the special bonds you make with your teammates…

      • Frye557

        I train in MMA as well, have taught BJJ for 4 years, and completely agree with most of the comments here. It’s not a team sport. There’s nothing wrong with fighting teammates I’ve grappled against numerous teammates and students in tournaments. It’s a matter of opinion whether or not teammates should fight each other, it has nothing to do with being an MMA fighter or not.

  • scream4me

    Diaz is fool and full of shit!I’ve trained,rolled on the mat and sparred with the same guys for the last six years.And yes they are friends beyond the gym.If they had a chance to better their lives by fighting me or anyone else then I would be pissed if they said no! This is a buisness and fighting pays the bills.
    I can understand Nick not wanting to fight Nate, but the rest of his team? Yeah right.

    • Frye557

      Agreed. MMA is more analogous to corporate business. You can work with the same person, even help each other on the same projects, designated a ‘team’. But there is a mutual understanding that you are both going for the same promotion, or hoping to rise above each other or opponents. If one has to over step the other to achieve certain goals, unfortunate as it is, it’s just business. It’s not a reflection on how you feel about the other person, you are just achieving what both set out to do in the first place.