Cesar Gracie 'Not Involved' with Nick Diaz’s Camp for UFC Abu Dhabi Bout

July 9, 2024
It appears that Cesar Gracie won’t be part of Nick Diaz’s camp for his upcoming fight against Vicente Luque at UFC on ABC 7 in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 3.

Diaz’s longtime coach doesn’t like a few aspects of the booking, including the overseas travel and the matchup against Luque. It will be Diaz’s first Octagon appearance since a third-round TKO loss due to retirement against Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 in September 2021.

“I’m really not involved in that fight. I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. That wasn’t my idea. It wasn’t a fight I would have had,” Gracie recently told Submission Radio. “Like if I was advising Nick, I wouldn’t have advised him to do that fight. It’s in Abu Dhabi. I wouldn’t advise to go fight overseas at this point, especially [because] Luque is a very tough guy. You know Nick is a tough guy, but it just doesn’t make that much sense for me where Nick is at in his career.

“And I don’t know. It’s not the fight I would have made. I don’t even know what’s going on with that fight to be honest with you. I speak to Nick. I spoke to Nick today a little bit, and yeah, I don’t have any plans for that fight, to be honest with you. I don’t even know what’s going to happen with that one to be honest with you.”

While Gracie says he does have regular contact with Diaz, it’s not necessarily related to the upcoming fight. As a result, he doesn’t have much insight into the former Strikeforce champion’s mindset.

“I haven’t been part of his training for this one. I’m just not,” Gracie said. “We talk every day, and I don’t know what’s going to happen with that, to be honest with you. I don’t. It’s a tossup what’s going to happen. And like, again, I think the camp, our camp in general, we haven’t been as involved like we are with other stuff.

“And so I don’t know what Nick is doing. I know he’s lost a lot of weight and everything, but I don’t really see him training with fighters. And I don’t know what’s going on with that fight.”

According to Gracie, Diaz hasn’t been the same since the fight against Anderson Silva in 2015, when the Nevada State Athletic Commission handed him a lengthy ban due to a positive marijuana test. Diaz was initially suspended five years, but he eventually reached a settlement with the commission that reduced the ban to 18 months.

“Nick in general after the Anderson Silva thing, there was a lot of changes,” Gracie said. “When the commission took him out for years with the weed ban thing, I think that kind of threw him for a loop. He wasn’t in the gym because there was no reason fo him to be in the gym. Suddenly he wasn’t hanging out with people from the gym. It’s tough to be a guy like Nick Diaz. He’s such an icon of the sport. He’s so famous and everybody wants a piece of him.” After Gracie’s latest Octagon appearance, Gracie revealed that the Stockton, California, native was competing with two ruptured discs in his neck. However, Diaz didn’t withdraw from the fight due to financial concerns.

Ahead of the fight against Luque, Gracie claims that Diaz hasn’t been doing what he’d normally do during camp, though he is apparently healthy. Instead, Diaz is not even in California.

“So it’s not that we’re not close — I love Nick obviously — we talk every day…it’s just that I do things a certain way … He’s just not really part of the training with the guys,” Gracie said. “Normally right now he’d be training with Jake Shields, he’d be training with his brother, he would hae been sparring. Nick was not there [on Saturday] for Nate’s fight [against Jorge Masvidal]. No bad blood or anything whatsoever. I think that the people that are holding on to Nick in Texas, want to hold on to Nick. I hope they take good care of him, that’s all I can say.

Diaz’s last victory came against B.J. Penn at UFC 137 in October 2011. He has since gone winless in four fights, falling to Carlos Condit, Georges St. Pierre, Silva and Lawler.

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Cesar-Gracie-Not-Involved-with-Nick-Diazs-Camp-for-UFC-Abu-Dhabi-Bout-194269

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