There are countless fans and fighters who have expressed hope over the notion of UFC welterweight Nick Diaz reconsidering his current stance on retirement. However, perhaps more importantly than the masses are the opinions of a single coach/manager/father-figure backing the cause who also happens to be the man overseeing Diaz’s development since the former Strikeforce champion was a teenager – Cesar Gracie.
Diaz announced he was hanging up his gloves after a questionable decision loss to Carlos Condit in February, citing disgust with the way judges have a way of negatively impacting results based on their suspect scoring methods.
As far as Diaz’s longtime mentor, Gracie isn’t ready to let his star pupil waste away as he made clear in an interview with Sherdog Radio, saying, “He’s sick of the politics, the whole marijuana thing, the judges…It’s kind of a weird thing, but let’s face it: I’m not going to let that guy quit. I just don’t see that happening. He’s too good and he’s too important in this sport, I think. If it’s up to me, there’s no way that’s going to happen.”
Gracie also elaborated some on Diaz’s ordeal with having tested positive for THC metabolites after his defeat to Condit and subsequent discipline from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The widely-respected trainer confirmed their camp would be fighting the NSAC’s findings, also shining some light on his 28-year old student’s mentality when it comes to marijuana use.
“I can tell you, all these UFC guys, they’re out there smoking. I mean, I see them. They smoke marijuana and then they take these chemicals — and when I say chemicals, it’s that stuff you can buy over the counter and that guarantees you’re going to pass the test. It masks it. It masks it in your urine so that the metabolites don’t show, and you can just take one of those,” explained Gracie. “You go, ‘Well, why didn’t Nick take one of those?’ Because Nick is such a purist when it comes to his diet that he’ll look at something like that and he goes, ‘Well, this contains artificial dyes or artificial flavors, artificial this and that,’ and then he doesn’t want to do it. It drives me crazy. I’m like, ‘Nick, just take this, and you’ll be like all these other UFC guys that are smoking and are taking it,’ but he won’t do that because he thinks it’s bad for his body.”
Currently Diaz’s status remains up in the air with a hearing expected in April where his case will be addressed.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE
MMATraining Take: It’s nice to know Gracie will do his part to talk Diaz into coming out of retirement given their relationship. Diaz is without a doubt one of the best fighters pound-for-pound in MMA and seeing his career end prematurely would be a shame.