Nick Diaz is one of the elite athletes in all of MMA. The former Strikeforce champion will hit the Octagon next weekend with a shot at becoming the UFC welterweight champion on the line in the main event of UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz.
Diaz will be tackling a tough foe in Georges St-Pierre, who has dominated the 170-pound division for several years. Jose Garcia, a recovery and repair coach, believes the Stockton fighter is prepared to dethrone GSP.
“Nick is healthy right now, very healthy and good to go,” said Garcia, during an exclusive interview with FightLine recently. “His mindset is sharp, he is focused on the task at hand. We have his recovery, his repair, his nutrition, his training – we have it all ready and focused.”
Garcia started working with Diaz several years ago, and the fighter was so impressed that he brought him in on a full-time basis.
“He basically just said to me, ‘I need you in camp, and not as a part-time coach,'” Garcia said. “I worked with him when he was in Strikeforce, and continued as he did triathlons and prepared for his first UFC title fight with GSP. He told me what happened with that fight (Diaz was removed for missing scheduled press conferences), and he had me back in his camp for the fight with BJ Penn.
“He put me on the roster again to work with him for the Condit fight, and we made sure he was fully healthy and had everything prepared for that bout because it was a championship fight.”
Diaz was defeated by Condit with the interim UFC welterweight title on the line. He ended up receiving a suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission for a failed drug test due to marijuana metabolites, but he finds himself right back in the championship hunt.
Garcia stated that he saw some flaws Diaz during a boxing session, and requested a chance to work with him to correct those mistakes. Now, the two see less of each other because the fighter has prepared himself from the teachings of the coach.
“Now, we just have to tune it up,” Garcia said. “It is easier for the athlete to get better recovery when they are consistent with it. It is easier to retain, harder to repair.”