The flavor of the month is once again a huge fight between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and his new-found rival Nate Diaz. The unlikely pairing was born from Rafael dos Anjos’ injury before UFC 196, and Diaz made sure he played the spoiler role on March 5. With the promotion rubbing their hands over potential fights with Georges St-Pierre and Robbie Lawler, the Stockton bad boy handed McGregor his first loss in the UFC.
After 10 years of fighting in the UFC, Diaz was finally getting paid. He’d dominated Michael Johnson in December of 2015, using that moment to blast ‘The Notorious’ during an explicit post-fight interview. These comments would eventually lead to the UFC 196 pairing that catapulted the popular brawler in to the mainstream.
“I didn’t want to go on (The Ultimate Fighter). They wanted nick to go on TUF 4, it was the comeback season with Chris Lytle and Matt Serra, and he was like ‘I’m not going on that show.’ We’d already made fun of Diego Sanchez and Josh Koscheck, like ‘Why would you go on that show?'”
“Then (the UFC) called saying they wanted me on season 5. Then Nick and Cesar (Gracie) said I should go on that show. I was like ‘What? We were just making fun of this show.’ I didn’t want to go on the camera, I was anti-social, I was 20-years old at that time. I really just did it because they pay for your medical.”
Living as a fighter
“People were looking at us, the neighbourhood we came from, and we weren’t meant to make it. As a 22, 23-year old making some money it was like ‘I got a career now.’ I was able t make some money, looking at it , this whole thing is fucking crazy.”
Here’s the full segment with Megan Olivi from the UFC YouTube channel. Check out the full UFC 02 fight card after the jump.
Main Card (PPV, 10 PM ET)
Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor
Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira
Donald Cerrone vs. Rick Story
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry
Sabah Homasi vs. Tim Means
Preliminary Card (FS1, 8 PM ET)
Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Raquel Pennington vs. Elizabeth Phillips
Chris Avila vs. Artem Lobov
Cortney Casey vs. Randa Markos
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 PM ET)
Lorenz Larkin vs. Neil Magny
Colby Covington vs. Max Griffin
Alberto Uda vs. Marvin Vettori