Nick Diaz has always been a little bit different from everyone else in mixed martial arts, and that's why the fans love him.
While others are respectful, Diaz is brash and insulting. Others tell you they'll fight anyone the UFC asks them to; Diaz says he'll only fight the biggest opponents available.
Others say they enjoy fighting simply for the love of competition. Diaz? He hates it.
"Fighting is not something I enjoy doing. Fighting is something I feel I have to do, and that's just the way it is," Diaz said during a special media conference call on Wednesday. "I don't get excited to fight. I don't use that word in this sport. I use that word [excited] like maybe I'm starving and food is showing up. That's the kind of excitement I get. I get excited to have a couple of days off.
"I think people are confused with that term when it comes to fighting," he said.
Diaz will return to the Octagon at UFC 183 on January 31 in Las Vegas. He'll face former middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, who has been rehabilitating the nasty broken leg he suffered while challenging Chris Weidman for the championship last year.
Silva is the kind of big-fight opponent Diaz wanted. He wasn't getting those fights a year ago, which is why he walked away from the sport under the guise of a pseudo-retirement. But Diaz said Wednesday that he never really intended on retiring. Not for good, anyway.
"It was more about my options of whether I'm getting back into fighting or not. They were offering me fights for the whole year. I wasn't willing to fight for what they were talking about for the whole year," Diaz said. "So I pretty much just dealt with different aspects of life. And now we've been able to sit down and talk about it, and I think I was looking for pretty much the biggest fight I could get myself into. Just like always. That's what I've always done since I was 18 years old.
"As far as my whole retirement game plan was, I just needed time off," he continued. "And you don't get time off in the UFC without retiring or without getting hurt. And I guess I don't break easy, like some of these other guys."
After meeting with Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White last week, Diaz penned a new three-fight contract with the promotion. On Wednesday, he said he was happy with the terms of his arrangement, though he declined to discuss specifics.
"I can't complain. I couldn't ask for anything more," he said.
When asked if Diaz was excited about the prospects of facing a massive challenge like Silva, the Stockton native answered in a way only he could.
"Definitely not," he scoffed. "Would you enjoy fighting Anderson Silva?"
All quotes were obtained firsthand.
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