Jake Shields knows Nick Diaz as well as anybody in MMA, as the two have been training partners under Cesar Gracie for several years now. Shields, who has a fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama set for this weekend at UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson, talked with Kimura.se about Diaz and his recent retirement speech.
“He’s calmed down, I think he’s gonna fight again,” Shields said. “He’s been a little burned out. They’ve been fighting him like crazy, keeping him busy. I think he needs a little break.”
Following a loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, Diaz told Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview that he was done with MMA. In the days after, it was reported that Diaz failed his drug test due to traces of marijuana showing up in his system. He likely faces a suspension due to the test, though his retirement would render that useless if it holds up.
“I think the time off will make him love the sport again and make him wanna get back in there,” Shields said.
For Shields, his bout with Akiyama is critical to his future career, as well. After a loss to Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title, Shields was knocked out by Jake Ellenberger.
Check out the entire interview in the video below.