Nate Diaz fought the biggest fight of his life at UFC 202 last August in a rematch against Conor McGregor. Unfortunately for him, things did not end in his favor.
Instead, McGregor ended up winning by majority decision, and was able to even the score from their first encounter at UFC 196 last March. It was a fight that the younger Diaz went through without elder brother Nick in his corner.
The former Strikeforce welterweight champion was prevented from being within the vicinity of the Octagon, due to an outstanding fine he has yet to settle with the Nevada Athletic Commission for his drug test issues at UFC 183. Had he been there to coach his brother, Nick feels the result of the fight would have turned out differently.
“Just one inch, that’s the difference between how that fight could’ve gone. As far as I’m concerned, I definitely would’ve been that inch,” Diaz said on a recent episode of Opie Radio (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “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 that 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.”
Nate was instead cornered by long-time teammates Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields, alongside their boxing coach Richard Perez. Nick says that while both Melendez and Shields did a good job that night, him being there would have been different.
“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,” Diaz explained. “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.”