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Nate Diaz tells Kevin Iole why he chose to face Leon Edwards, who is undefeated since 2015.
KEVIN IOLE: Hey, everybody. I am Kevin Iole, and it is my pleasure right now to welcome one of the biggest stars in mixed martial arts and in the world of UFC. Of course, I am talking about Nate Diaz. On Saturday at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, he is fighting with Leon Edwards. Nate, how are you, my man?
NATE DIAZ: Good how are you?
KEVIN IOLE: I am doing awesome. Let's start with this. You know, you when you beat Anthony Pettis in Anaheim, you made a point at the post-fight press conference-- hey, I'm not coming back for just anybody anymore. It has to mean something, it has to be a big guy. What is it about Leon Edwards that got you feeling like this was a fight that wanted to bring you back?
NATE DIAZ: I think he's the one that's doing all the winning, kicking all the ass. That's what we're here to do, showing who's the best fighter.
KEVIN IOLE: He is number three in the welterweight division. If you win this fight, obviously that puts you in an unbelievable position. Are you looking at you know fighting for a championship? You've never had a chance to do that. Do you feel like, if you win this fight, that this could be a championship fight for you down the road?
NATE DIAZ: I feel like if I can get the win, it's my plan, it's my objective. And that's a championship fight for you.
KEVIN IOLE: What is, when you look at Leon, is there anything that impresses you about him? Anything that makes you say, I got to be concerned about this aspect of his game?
NATE DIAZ: He's good at winning.
KEVIN IOLE: Good at winning?
NATE DIAZ: So [INAUDIBLE] enough. I got to do the winning.
KEVIN IOLE: Is he-- do you think he's one of the guys who gets you fired up? I mean, does he get you rolling when you see him fight?
NATE DIAZ: Uhm, I just-- he's the guy who's winning. All the guys who-- all the guys are like, a name. And all the guys with the names [INAUDIBLE] world playing dodgeball. So I'm like, that's the guy beating everybody, so I'll just fight him. That's [INAUDIBLE]. So you got to hustle hard for it.
KEVIN IOLE: I wanted to ask you this. I saw you posted a video on your YouTube channel, Nate Diaz, that you were doing a triathlon. You posted it the other day. When was that triathlon done?
NATE DIAZ: When was that? Three weeks ago? A month ago? Yeah, I think it was three weeks or a month ago.
KEVIN IOLE: So you so you were in the middle of training for a fight, and you're doing a triathlon?
NATE DIAZ: Yeah, I've been doing that my whole career. Even when I'm not fighting, I've been racing.
KEVIN IOLE: I know you do that off, but you've been you've actually been doing triathlon races when you're in camp for fights.
NATE DIAZ: Yeah, the good thing right now is because of the whole pandemic, there was no races for a while. So they just started kicking back in at the same time I was fighting, so it was good timing. I started to get the itch to race anyway, but they cut out, they shut everything down for like a year.
KEVIN IOLE: Right.
NATE DIAZ: They weren't even happening. [INAUDIBLE] back in there was fun for me. A bunch of the team got out.
KEVIN IOLE: How long was the distance?
NATE DIAZ: This was just a small one. Like a half a mile swim, like 16-mile bike-- no, like a 24-mile bike-- and a six-mile run.
KEVIN IOLE: So easy stuff. [CHUCKLES]
NATE DIAZ: Yeah, that was a smaller race.
KEVIN IOLE: Have you ever thought about doing that ultramarathon that they do in Hawaii, I think?
NATE DIAZ: You mean the Ironman? Yeah, that's cool. Yeah. For sure. My brother has done that twice, I think. I would like to get out there when the timing's right and [INAUDIBLE]. That's world championships, I think, now.
KEVIN IOLE: Yeah, that'd be awesome. [INAUDIBLE] to see you do that. Do you feel like, going through it, when you're doing a triathlon, they say it's as much mental as anything else. Do you feel like that makes you better as a fighter, because sometimes you want to quit. You don't feel good on the bike, you don't feel good when you're running, and you know, like the fact that you push through and do it, does that help you in the fights when things are--
NATE DIAZ: Yeah, I kind of know how to get through all that anyway from the years of experience. But what I like about it is that it's different. It's like mixed martial arts. It's like, if you're running faster than anybody, [INAUDIBLE] faster than all of us. [INAUDIBLE] run race. But you put them in the water, and he slows down, he falls behind. And then you're ahead of him in the race, the whole bike and the run, and you're not having as good of a run, because you didn't train as much. You know he's picking up behind you, so you have to make sure you cover each aspect. [INAUDIBLE]
And then you got [INAUDIBLE]. But anyway, you got to prep equally for each one and be good in each individual sport or whatever-- the swim, the bike, or the run. You can be the best swimmer, the best biker. But if you run like shit, everyone's going to catch you in the end. Like that, with mixed martial arts, you got to put the right ingredient in-- the kickboxing, and the boxing, the wrestling. [INAUDIBLE]
That's a good thing that gets you to like, OK, I have all your shit together. Also like, another piece of the art in racing. So it's like first of all have all your stuff, so you could have a good race. Practice the swimming, You get what I'm saying though? You've got to cover all things and kind of show you [INAUDIBLE] a little better. And know when you did everything about right, it's my shit together. [CHUCKLES]
KEVIN IOLE: I want to ask you this. You know, you post some interesting things on YouTube, and that's what it reminds me, you know, did you see the fight last night with Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather. And reportedly, Logan Paul made $20 million for that. I saw Francis Ngannou put out, what are we doing wrong? What was your reaction--
NATE DIAZ: What is he doing wrong? What is in Francis Ngannou doing wrong? I've been doing more right than all of these [MUTED] for years and years. They should have been [INAUDIBLE] money a long time ago like I was. I was never no champion, and I was saying, [MUTED] you, [INAUDIBLE]. Let me get some [MUTED] money cracking. And what happened? [INAUDIBLE] raised anyway, and nobody was jumping on it. And now they're like, what are we doing wrong? And like, you should've listened to your dad years ago, [INAUDIBLE]. The whole roster.
Everybody's rookies though. So [INAUDIBLE]. Because of how bad you've been slacking [INAUDIBLE] should be doing. And it's in a changing process, but I think [INAUDIBLE] head of change [INAUDIBLE].
KEVIN IOLE: You've been fighting for what, 17 years professionally? I think 14 years, if I'm not mistaken, in the UFC. Why do you think it is that both yourself and your brother, your popularity remains so high for so long. You know, your brother hasn't fought in six and a half years, and yet people are still desperate to hear if he's going to fight again. What is it about the Diaz brothers that intrigues people so much?
NATE DIAZ: Probably that we're here, doing the same thing we've been doing the whole time, only better, getting better in some type of aspect. I feel like I am. It's not hard just not being lame. [CHUCKLES] That how I think about it.
KEVIN IOLE: [CHUCKLES] I talked to Dana today. And Dana told me Nick is probably going to fight later this year. What do you know? Anything?
NATE DIAZ: I know-- I know what you know.
KEVIN IOLE: Is Nick going to be in your corner?
NATE DIAZ: I don't know if he'll be in my corner. It's a possibility. He's out here right now, so that's cool. He's just here at the house.
KEVIN IOLE: Very good. Finally, I'll let you get out of here. Let's just wrap this up with this. You know, if you beat Leon Edwards on Saturday, if you beat the number three guy in the world. How soon do you want to come back? Will we see you again in 2021?
NATE DIAZ: Yeah, next week. ASAP.
KEVIN IOLE: So you want to be back again? So you're going to fight multiple times this year?
NATE DIAZ: Yeah.
KEVIN IOLE: Awesome.
NATE DIAZ: I always want to find multiple times. It's these mother-[MUTED] fighters out here playing dodgeball. It's a reason why I'm not active. [INAUDIBLE]
KEVIN IOLE: Who's dodging you now, would you say?
NATE DIAZ: It's already been dodged. Ain't gonna dodge me now at the moment. I had to [INAUDIBLE] that and fight Leon Edwards, because then nobody else [INAUDIBLE].
KEVIN IOLE: Right.
NATE DIAZ: I wanted to go get knocked out somewhere first. And then they're like [INAUDIBLE]. You just got [MUTED] up.
Let me get [MUTED] up a couple of times, and then we can fight.
KEVIN IOLE: Well, we will see Nate Diaz on Saturday, UFC 263 on ESPN Plus pay per view. Glendale in Arizona. Nate, all the best to you, brother. Thank you very much for your time.
NATE DIAZ: [INAUDIBLE]
KEVIN IOLE: I'll see you in a bit.
NATE DIAZ: All right.