With the recently made match up between former teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans and the resulting drama, the topic of teammate vs. teammate is a hot one in MMA circles. So it was that Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz was asked his opinion on the topic during a recent conference call held in promotion of his upcoming bout with Paul Daley (props to USA Today).
“They’re not real training partners, though. They’re like 10 years apart, for one, or something like that. They didn’t grow up training together,” Diaz said of Jones and Evans. “And then the guy (Jones) is just brand new into this sport. He’s just doing whatever. They’ve got him so busy making photo shoots and press conference and conference calls and all that. I’m missing practice right now being this! I’m missing a very serious practice. I’ve got a lot of people right in front of me on the mat right now training. I need my practice, and I’m over here on this call. It’s simple. It’s stuff like this. That’s what those guys have been doing — they’re not focused on who’s important to them in life, you know? I’ve got training partners. I’ve got what works, and what got me there, and that’s my team. That’s a disgusting thought, to have to fight my brother. I don’t even appreciate being asked about that.”
Diaz’s training partners — principally Jake Shields, his brother Nate and Gilbert Melendez — are notoriously tight-knit, so it comes as no surprise that the topic of fighting some of his closest friends draws the Stockton kid’s ire.
He will attempt to defend his welterweight title for the third time this April 9 against British slugger Paul Daley.