Nick Diaz believes had he been allowed to corner his brother Nate in his rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 202 he would’ve made the difference and the decision would’ve gone the way of his younger sibling instead of the brash Irishman.
The former Strikeforce welterweight champion and all round needle mover doesn’t give interviews often but when he does Planet MMA listens. In an appearance on Opie Radio, Nick reflected on the UFC 202 main event and feels he would’ve been able to guide his brother to victory had he been allowed in the corner.
Unfortunately, because he hadn’t paid an outstanding fine to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he was unable to apply for a corner’s license.
“Just one inch, that’s the difference between how that fight could’ve gone,” Diaz said. “As far as I’m concerned, I definitely would’ve been that inch. They just wanted to keep me out of there. They know that it would’ve definitely helped him out a lot.
“I was seeing things in that fight that I would’ve called and told him. I was seeing things he wasn’t seeing, because I do these things and I know how they work out for me. It’s kind of like a formula, you know what I mean? And I’m like, hey look, this is what you do. Come the third and fourth round, I think if I would’ve been there, we would’ve been able to put it together and got that guy out of there.”
On the night it was left to fellow Skrap Pack members Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez to corner Nate and provide advice in between rounds. Although both have a wealth of experience, Nick believes his advice would’ve been more appropriate given the similar fight style he has with his baby bro.
“The thing is, Melendez is there. The thing about Melendez is, he’s great. He’s really smart. He knows what he’s looking at. But they’re training partners, and so they’re like kinda opposites stylistically, because he’s more of a wrestler and he goes on top,” he says.
“So the things that Gilbert would tell him to do is more of like what Gilbert would do, and what I would tell him to do is more of what he would do. I’m not saying that it wasn’t helping having Gilbert there telling him to do the wrong stuff – Gilbert wasn’t necessarily telling him to do the wrong stuff, he just wasn’t going to see the things that I was seeing. So that was kinda rough.
“It’s hard enough to watch being there, and I’m watching on TV, I can’t do anything… It was rough. I thought he had [McGregor] out of there, for sure, at one point in time. The third round, I guess. I was like, there’s just no way you’re coming back from that.”
Ultimately, McGregor got the job done and won the fight by unanimous decision. The trilogy fight seems inevitable and with that being said Nick finished by providing some insight into how younger brother Nate might approach his third outing with the Irish two-weight champion.
Diaz added: “I would’ve told him not to throw punches at that dude at all, because he’s going to sit there and watch you and try to counter everything. So all you do is fake at him and flick at him and f**k with him, and that’s how you do that. But he went out there and just, he just didn’t have it together in the first round, and I think I could’ve clicked him into the right mind-set.
“Plus, me standing in front of him, fooling around with him and standing in front of him with my right hand forward – all three of us stand the same way, so he doesn’t have anybody else like that to kinda work with him, and I just think that it would’ve definitely helped out having me there a little bit.”