Shields, a close teammate of Diaz and member of the infamous ‘scrap pack’, claimed the elder Diaz brother has recently upped his training regimen significantly in comparison to the 39-year-old’s previous training camp – those efforts ultimately resulting in a TKO loss to Robbie Lawler in 2021 – and that he’s more at peace mentally since that bout.
“He’s been out here training again, which was good because he wasn’t really training for the last camp,” Shields told Helen Yee in a recent interview. “So he’s back out here. Not training crazy hard, but the fact that he’s back in the gym, training every day, much better head space, is great.”
“Seeing Nick, he’s like a brother to me…it’s great to see him doing a lot better and I know all of the fans want to see him fight again. It would be great to see a comeback, but with a proper training camp.”
Who would Diaz return against? Shields had some suggestions. A super fight between the Stockton native and fellow returning star Conor McGregor tantalized the American Jiujitsu practitioner the most. “Who wouldn’t want to see that?” he posited. However, Shields also made mention of Jorge Masvidal, before noting, “It’s unfortunate those are both guys his brother fought, but those are two fights that I would love to see and I think the fans would.”
The AllStar MMA roundup
- The AllStar MMA Live: UFC Vegas 67 Reaction, Recap
The best of the rest
- Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane set for heavyweight title fight at UFC 285, Francis Ngannou a free agent – MMAFighting.com
- Jon Jones opens as betting underdog for UFC 285 title fight vs. Ciryl Gane – MMAJunkie.com
- Dana White: Francis Ngannou rejected deal to become highest paid heavyweight in UFC history – MMAJunkie.com
- Dana White responds to critics on lack of punishment for NYE incident: ‘The only thing that matters is my personal life’ – MMAFighting.com
- MMA fighter who appealed to Kadyrov to help locate missing aunt found dead on train – BloodyElbow.com
The MMA world reacts to Francis Ngannou’s release and Jon Jones return:
‘Sweet Dreams’ Jamahal Hill reads a bedtime story:
Michael Chandler teases his next move:
Muhammad Mokaev is staying busy:
Coach Eric Nicksick on his rivalry with France:
From words to reality:
Nassourdine Imavov is all good following his main event loss:
Abdul Razak Alhassan goes in on Joaquin Buckley:
Nate Diaz has no love for the Paul’s:
The morning view
Welterweight prospect Jack Della Maddalena breaks down Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman:
Daniel Cormier reacts to the return of Jon Jones:
The Weasle breaks down Umar Nurmagomedov’s stunning KO of Raoni Barcelos:
A fantastic short history of kickboxing and it’s influence on MMA:
- Jon Jones to fight Cyril Gane for the Vacant UFC heavyweight title at UFC 285 on March 4th (per Dana White/T-Mobile Arena staff 😂 )
- Champion Leon Edwards to fight Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 on March 18th (per UFC announcement)
- Justin Gaethje to fight Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286 on March 18th (per Brett Okamoto)
- Junior Tafa to fight Austen Lane at UFC 284 on February 11th (per ESPN)
UFC Roster Watch
Fighters removed this week:
- Francis Ngannou
Fighters Added this week:
- Junior Tafa
Credit to UFC Roster Watch
On this day in MMA…
On the 16th of January, 2021, the UFC was broadcast on the ABC network for a historic first time.
The Fight Night card, simply labeled UFC on ABC 1, was held in Abu Dhabi, Dubai at the Etihad Arena, and marked the first time a crowd would be in attendance at a UFC event since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pulling main event duties after an action-packed card was Max Holloway in his first non-title bout since 2016 (having just lost the featherweight title to Alexander Volkanovski, and the subsequent rematch) taking on a rising star and the self-proclaimed ‘best boxer in the UFC’, Calvin Kattar.
On that night, Holloway mounted the performance of a lifetime; battering Kattar from pillar to post, bell to bell – with showmanship resembling Muhammad Ali in his prime, slipping and dodging punches while yelling at the commentary team at one point.
‘Blessed’ would earn an unquestionable unanimous decision victory and earn fight of the night honors for his efforts, with many fans claiming the fight could have been stopped multiple times over.