Nate Diaz cannot match Conor McGregor when it comes to being an articulate salesman of fights, that much is not in question. There is no shame there, because few can.
However, the Stockton, Calif., native arguably produced the most memorable moment of Thursday’s UFC 196 press conference when he questioned the Irishman’s training practices and introduced a new phrase to the MMA vernacular in the process.
“Who do you train with? You’ve got that little goofy motherf----r with you. I have real training partners,” Diaz said.
“Top 10 fighters, Top 10 boxers, Top 10 jiu-jitsu guys, Top 10 kickboxers. You’re playing touch-butt with that dork in the park with the pony tail. And I’m the one who don’t got no training partners? I don’t think so. You’ve got it all figured out when you’re fighting midgets. You’ve got s--t.”
Diaz is making reference to McGregor’s movement coach, Ido Portal, who became a prominent figure prior to the SBG Ireland product’s victory over Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in December.
Diaz, a Cesar Gracie protege and the younger brother of former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz, made it perfectly clear that he believes his camp is far superior to McGregor’s. That in itself is not unusual, but with Diaz, a certain amount of bravado comes with such proclamations.
“My whole team will f---ing beat your whole team’s ass. How about that?” Diaz said. “The JV squad on my team will beat your team’s ass.”
Following Thursday’s presser, a melee nearly broke out as McGregor and Diaz squared off on the stage. McGregor slapped his opponent’s hand away, and then security and UFC brass had to intervene in order to prevent the situation from escalating.
And on stage with Diaz, barking at McGregor as the incident occurred? Both his brother and Jake Shields.
“I’m just saying I train with top guys. I train with Kron Gracie, world champion, best jiu-jitsu guy there is. I train with Nick and Jake and [Gilbert Melendez], Top 10 MMA fighters. Joe Schilling, Top 10 kickboxing. Just all around top 10 guys,” Diaz said.
“All I see is this guy in the park with the goofball with the pony tail....I’ll have one of my littlest dudes slap the s--t out of that guy. What the f--k? That’s my opinion on the whole training issue. He ain’t got nobody.”
That wasn’t quite it, however, as the previously-mocked Portal later fired back at Diaz on his Facebook page.
“So I still didn’t get it, Nate Diaz, first it’s you who were doing some movement training already back in the day but then it’s a s----y approach to take?” Portal wrote. “Which one is it?! Well, Mr. Diaz is under a lot of pressure. I understand mistakes can happen. Seriously, next time I’ll jump on stage with my pool noodle and smack some heads around.”