Former Strikeforce welterweight champion and UFC fan favorite Nick Diaz returned to the octagon for the first time in more than six years at UFC 266 in September. He faced a familiar face in former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
The two first fought at UFC 47 in April 2004 where Diaz knocked out Lawler in the second round. In the rematch, Lawler stopped Diaz early in the third.
Diaz took the fight to Lawler and showed glimpses of his younger self, but it was clearly Nick Diaz past his prime. While UFC president Dana White commended Diaz’ performance, he doesn’t want Diaz to fight again.
“Regardless of how good he looked and what he did after such a huge layoff, I don’t think Nick should fight,” White said during an interview with ESPN.
“He’s a grown man and he can do whatever he wants to do. I just don’t think Nick does because he loves it. I think Nick does it because he has to do it,” White said.
Diaz said as much days before his UFC 266 rematch with Lawler.
“I never enjoyed fighting. It’s just something that I do,” Diaz told ESPN at the time. “It’s just what I do. I tried to get away from it, but really it’s kind of inevitable.”
White’s opinion on whether Diaz should compete or not isn’t based on Diaz’ last performance. He knows that Diaz doesn’t enjoy it.
“People always ask me, ‘what’s the key to success?’ It’s all about being happy and doing what you love. It seems to me like – when I always talk about people sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and go to a job they hate, that’s what I feel like when Nick Diaz is getting ready for a fight. He’s in bumper to bumper traffic going to a job that he doesn’t love at all,” White said.