Nick Diaz always has excellent training partners from his Team Cesar Gracie camp.
But, when Diaz (25-7) begins preparation next week, he will have a special training partner in the form of super middleweight Andre Ward.
“Andre is very quick and athletic,” Gracie said. “GSP is an athletic guy. I don’t think he’s the best boxer in the world, but he’s fast and quick out there. To get used to a guy like Andre Ward, GSP won’t be really that big of a threat speed-wise if Nick gets used to Andre.”
Diaz and Ward have known each other for about 10 years, as Ward started coming to the Gracie gym and would spar with Diaz. This marks the first time that they have trained, though, throughout an entire camp.
Ward will also be preparing, as he has a fight set for October 29 where he will meet Carl Froch in the finals of the Showtime Super Six boxing classic from Atlantic City. Diaz will meet GSP on the same day, some 2,500 miles away in Las Vegas.
Diaz is a very reserved person, not getting too high or too low.
“You can’t really notice a difference with Nick,” Gracie said. “I don’t think ‘excitement’ is a word he uses in his particular vocabulary. He’s the same. It’s a fight for him. He hasn’t lost a fight in four years or so. The guy likes to fight. He’s going to train hard. There’s no difference mentally.”