Even Dana White had no idea what Nick Diaz would look like after a six-year hiatus.
But Diaz, 38, engaged in a thrilling battle with Robbie Lawler in a throwback to yesteryear, before eventually losing in the second round.
And even the UFC president – who has had several high profile bust-ups with Diaz over the years – was forced to admit that he was pleasantly surprised by what he saw on Saturday night.
“I thought Nick Diaz looked incredible considering he hasn’t fought in five years,” White told reporters, including GIVEMESPORT, at the UFC 266 post-fight news conference in Las Vegas.
“I don’t know what I was expecting.
“You never know what to get with the [Diaz] brothers, but let me tell you what — with a five-year layoff, I thought he looked unbelievable.
“And I don’t know if you guys saw Robbie after the fight, but Robbie had freaking knots and lumps all over him. Those two went to war.
“I thought Robbie was just going to go out there and buzz-saw through him – and that was not the case.”
Although Diaz lost the fight, White said ‘he looked damn good.’ After the fight, Diaz said he was happy to be back after serving a lengthy ban for smoking marijuana, and would like to get back in the octagon again for more action in the future.
As someone who has previously expressed concern about Diaz’s hunger and desire to compete again, White was pretty non-committal about his future, and declined to comment on any suggestions for potential opponents.
When asked what the future holds for Diaz he replied: “I don’t know.
“I honestly don’t know the answer to that question, but he looked damn good.
“That kid’s got a massive heart, he’s obviously a super talented fighter, and yeah, I was impressed.”
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