Nate Diaz wants to make a quick recovery and prove he belongs among the best fighters in the world following his loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 263.
Stockton native Diaz (20-13) dropped a unanimous decision loss to Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) in Arizona in the UFC’s first ever five-round non-title fight.
He did have some success, however, having caught the Birmingham fighter with a flurry of punches in the fifth round.
Edwards blamed the brief scare on a momentary lapse in concentration, but even though he is disappointed having lost the fight, Diaz is staying positive.
“I got cut in training, that’s why we had to push the fight back for a month,” Diaz said at the UFC 263 post-fight press conference. “I kind of lost all motivation to train and work out hard and all that, so I kind of just lingered around for a month to get ready for war like that.
“At the end of the day, I feel like he won or whatever, but I feel like I’m the better fighter still regardless, and I feel like the peak of the fight is what matters anyway in the end.”
Following on from this train of thought, Diaz also took the time to give Edwards his due respect, saying he is one of the elite-level fighters on the UFC roster.
However, he insists he was never in any serious danger, despite suffering a nasty cut early on in the bout.
“No hate on Leon, congratulations to him and why would you fight anybody but the top guy if you’re going to fight at all,” he added. “I wish it would’ve went my way, but it’s all good.
“Fight was a wrap. In a real fight in the real world, that’s a wrap. So, yeah. He was sleep-walking.
“I just kind of winged it. I was just kind of walking through that fight to get to the next opponent in this whole game. I didn’t feel like I was really in any danger.
“Of course, I got cut and that f—— sucks, but I wasn’t motivated in training and I was just trying not to use any energy anywhere. Was just kind of in cruise control.”
Rather than dwell on the loss, the 36-year-old Diaz wants a quick turnaround and is already eyeing a spot on a main card in September or October.
He continued: “I want to fight in three or four months. I’m ready to get back in there. Just to heal up. If I was unscathed I would be back in next week.
“I just wasn’t motivated to train anymore because I already put in the hard work for the next fight in Texas where it was supposed to be.
“It had to linger on for another f—— month and it just sucked so I just rolled with the punches and did what I had to do to get here.”