UFC star Nick Diaz has revealed he 'got stabbed' and 'roughed around' growing up but believes he 'had an advantage because of that mentality'.
The 38-year-old MMA fighter is preparing for his big comeback this Saturday when he rematches fellow legend Robbie Lawler on the main card of the Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega showdown at UFC 266 in Las Vegas.
Diaz, 38, grew up in North America's notorious Stockton '209' postcode where he said he was regularly exposed to a life of knife crime and gang violence.
But the oldest of the Diaz brothers believes that those experiences have helped to shape him into the fighter that he is today.
"I came from a really, you know, hard town," Diaz told UFC Countdown.
“The people I grew up with, they were always fighting. My brother was getting into gang fights and fights on the street. I got stabbed.
"I had a mentality from just getting roughed around as a kid and just put through a lot.
"I thought that was going on everywhere but it was really just the school that I was at.
"So when I went out there to fight in front of an audience, they had never seen anything like that and I didn’t know that I was doing anything different.
"But I really had an advantage because of that mentality.”
'I’d rather just be out there fighting'
The man made famous by the 'Stockton slap' then revealed that he has at times struggled to deal with the intense media scrutiny.
He said: “I’m not somebody who is good with words.
"Just the stress of being able to, you know, say the right thing, that was kind of a price I had to pay.
"Just doing that sort of thing non-stop, I’d rather just be out there fighting.
“People were really taking shots at me and trying, you know, to take me out in some sort of way, like, before I go in there.
"It’s hard for me to show up in the middle of training and going back and forth, and I feel like the world is kind of hammering me so hard, you know, making it like a fair fight, you know.
"I always walked out there like, ‘What am I doing, I can’t believe I’m doing this again'.
"I’m like, ‘This is not fair.’
"At the end of the day, you know, win or lose, at least I can say I went out there and did it and gave it my, you know, rather than letting it just pass by.”
'I’m not going out there to call him names'
And on Saturday night, Diaz will step into the spotlight again when he walks out at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
He added: “I’m not going out there to call him [Lawler] names or, you know, I’m going to be a lot more sportsmanlike, I think, out there.
“But that’s not what won me the fight last time. That surprised him a little bit, but I would have won the fight anyways.”News Now - Sport News