The former welterweight champion sat down with ESPN to talk about his return to fighting at UFC 266 on Saturday, when he will take on Lawler for the second time in his career. But during the interview, Diaz gave his honest opinions about the sport.
“I never enjoyed fighting,” Diaz said plainly. “It’s just something that I do. It’s just what I do. I tried to get away from it, but really it’s kind of inevitable. It is. All the people around me and all the money and sponsors, they won’t let me get away from fighting. There’s things I could do, but it’s not going to work out. I might as well just go and take my punches.”
Diaz said he feels “pretty good” going into the fight but he expressed his displeasure with his opponent.
“I do believe that,” Diaz said when asked if he feels like he’s the best fighter in the world. “I think I’ll beat the s— out of (Kamaru) Usman. I’ve got a better shot of beating Usman than I do Lawler, just ‘cause I already beat Lawler. It doesn’t make sense for me to go in there and fight Robbie Lawler again.”
“I don’t know why I’m doing this,” he said, more animated. “This should not happen. Whoever set this up is an idiot. I don’t know why I’m doing this. I don’t know why this is happening. I should be fighting Kamaru Usman and that’s it.”
Diaz explained that he feels “a lot of resentment” toward the sport.
“Do I feel confident?” he asked rhetorically. “I never do. I never have. I always feel like I’m going to get trashed out there, every fight I’ve ever done. ‘How do you feel against Robbie Lawler?’ I feel like I’m going to get the s— beat out of me. And even when I win, I get beat up worse.”
He reiterated his desire not to fight Lawler.
“I’m going to go in there and fight Robbie Lawler again, and he don’t deserve to get his a– whooped, and I know I’m going to beat the s— out of him and I don’t wanna. If I lose, I don’t want to lose to Robbie Lawler. I already beat him. That just sucks.”
Diaz says he probably has a few fights left in him but when asked what he finds most enjoyable about the sport, he said, “Nothing at all.”
“This is not enjoyable. This whole thing is for everybody else. I’m glad that the fans are happy, and that they love it and that’s just what gets them going.”