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Maggie Hendricks

Nick Diaz talks about the brawl, GSP and triathlons

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

Nick Diaz is in Las Vegas to race in the Xterra Triathlon, but before his run/bike/swim, he took a few minutes to talk with Cagewriter about Saturday night's brawl, future opponents and why he is a triathlete.

Cagewriter: Were you surprised by the reaction to that fight or that so many people have been blaming your team?

Nick Diaz: I don't know. I haven't been paying too much attention to it. I've been busy. I'm in Vegas and here to do a triathlon this weekend. I'm focused on that, but it sucked. Everybody seemed pretty mad. They were all pointing fingers at us. The guy jumped in the cage.

What did you think when Jason "Mayhem" Miller came into the cage?

I didn't see it until he was already in Jake's face. He pushed Jake, and then he just runs back at all of us. Everybody's like, "Oh, you jumped this guy, you fought this guy," but I didn't know we were hitting him, because I was getting hit and people were grabbing me.

If you watch the tape, this guy backs up really quick and then runs at all of us. I think maybe he got punched on a little bit, and pushed some at first, but he's the one that ran up and got in Jake's face. Gilbert pushes him back a little bit, then he pushes Gilbert, then he runs back at everyone, and everyone's fighting. It wasn't really that anyone intended on doing that.

Would you be surprised if you were reprimanded by Strikeforce or the Tennesee Athletic Commission?

As long as everybody did, because I didn't do anything different than anybody else. I felt like I got hit more than I was hitting.

Did you get any bruises or cuts from the brawl?

I got elbowed in the back of the head, and I got kicked and have a few bruises.

Did you talk to Scott Coker the night of the brawl or since?

I didn't even talk to him that night. I was just there to corner. I did my job. I was protecting myself. If you're a fighter, what martial arts is going to teach you is that if you're in a fight, you're in a fight. You can't just get hit on and stand there and get hit.

I feel bad. There were girls in there with cameras. Everybody was swinging at everybody. The best thing to do is to be fighting back and have some direction. For all I know, I get a lot of anxiety in there, and when that happens, anybody can take a shot at me, or one of my friends or one of my partners. That's exactly what was happening! If you have a side to fight for, the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to fight for that side, and not just take punches and let your friend or your family member take punches.

This guy's parents were in there, too. Jake's mom and dad were in there, and everyone was fighting. You can't really blame anyone. It didn't need to happen, and it wouldn't have happened if that guy didn't get in the ring. If anyone's in trouble, I didn't start it.

After you fight Hayato Sakurai at DREAM in May, who do you want to face in Strikeforce?

I want to fight Jason, but I'm not going to talk shit on him, but if I was, I'd call him a little bitch, but I don't really talk shit. That's the only fight I want to talk about. Whoever they put in front of me, of course I'm going to fight them. I'm not afraid of anyone. Money talks. I'll fight whoever they want. I'd rather a fight at a different weight and fight someone who was important, someone who has the title.

Do you think Strikeforce has anyone to challenge you at welterweight?

No, I don't. That's why I'm going to fight in Japan. They don't have anybody for me. My last fight, they had to bring that guy from [DREAM]. People always talk about Georges St. Pierre, and they say, "Why would he come down to fight you?" And I say, "Whoa, whoa. Let's talk about GSP." He fought Dan Hardy, who got there by beating a guy my brother [UFC fighter Nate Diaz] just beat up. I was asked to fight Dan Hardy, and I turned down that fight because the guy isn't popular and he isn't important. He's not that good. He gets to the UFC, and he punches out Mike Swick. I don't have anything bad to say about Mike Swick, but I've never been impressed with Mike Swick. That's all the UFC has over there is Mike Swick.

That's all they have to offer. [Thiago Alves] is having head trauma problems, and I've never been impressed with him either. Matt Hughes is old, and Karo Parisyan is good, but he fell off. I felt bad for him.

The UFC has all new guys. These guys don't even deserve to fight me, they don't deserve to fight for a title. That's why I'm talking about, hey, we should put [GSP vs. Diaz] together.

GSP's fought everybody else. He's already fought Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck. He doesn't want to fight those guys again. He should want to fight me. I think he should stand up and say, whether this fight is going to happen or not, I'm not afraid to fight. I'm just trying to say, people should want to see that fight because this is ridiculous. I'm trying to be a fighter and get my fights.

But before that, you're doing a triathlon. Don't you get hit when you're racing?

In the triathlon, I get real mad when that happens.

Do people know that you're a fighter when you're racing?

Not any of the competitive people [realize who I am.] Just like MMA, it's not the best fighters being promoted. I'll have one or two people know who I am, but that's it. I like it that way. I can focus on the race. But most the time, nobody knows me.

Is that anonymity one of the reasons why you do it?

I just like to race. I like the open water swim. It gives me something to build for. During [triathlon] season, every two weeks, I'll race. In that training, I get stronger and stronger, building up to the race. After a race, a lot of people will crash, but I'll keep building up and building up until I have to fight. It gives me something to not crash after the race is over. I try to keep the ball rolling until I have a fight.

I've been building up to this race, but I'm ultimately building up to a fight. Doing the races keeps me in shape. I don't have to get in shape for fights. I don't have to get ready to train with anybody. If I'm not running, I'm going to get in a swim or a bike ride. There's a lot more things I can do than sit stationary.

How many races do you do a year?

I get close to eight or nine, because I'll do four or five X terra races a year, and a few road ones in, too. The training for those races is just like training for the fights. You build up to it.

In training for fights, your team is very important to you. Is that true in training for triathlons as well?

I do have some people that I go on long bike rides with and we push each other, but nothing near as serious as in fighting. When I'm doing the triathlon, I try to be the best I can.

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