On the latest episode of Submission Radio Nate Diaz’s longtime boxing coach Richard Perez spoke on fighting Conor McGregor, Nate’s current shape, and who he feels needs this fight at 170 more (hint, it’s not Nate). He also doubles down on Nate’s accusation that Conor and the entire UFC was on steroids at the presser on Wednesday.
“Oh I sure do believe it, heck yeah. Some guys, they get busted. And to be honest with you I know McGregor’s gotta be on some kind of steroid. He’s pretty big, and then all of a sudden jumping to 170? Yeah there’s no way, because he was supposed to be fighting at 155. See if you think about it, he was focusing on fighting at 155, he only had two weeks to go. Then all of a sudden he’s going to jump to 170? So no, there’s something going on, but we’re still going to fight and that’s all there is to it…When Nathan mentioned it (steroids) to him he got mad, he got angry. If someone told that to me I’d laugh and say ‘Yeah give me some more steroids, heck yeah’, uh huh, sure… he got defensive… The actions and they way he talked there’s something behind that.”
Host Denis Shkuratov wanted clarity on the weight class topic. “Conor McGregor accused Nate of not being able to make 155…In your opinion it was in fact Conor McGregor that wasn’t able to make the weight…and that’s why it’s scheduled to be at 170.”
Coach Perez: “That’s what I’m saying, that McGregor couldn’t make the weight. He would’ve said ‘Ok let’s go to 160, 165, because Nathan was ready for it. Instead he jumped to 170, why? … If you’re a fighter and you’ve been training two months or so and you’re already cutting your weight down at two weeks you should be close to 155, at least (only) 4, 5 pounds over. But all of a sudden 155 to 170? Oh boy, that’s a big jump. There’s something fishy going on there.
Whether there’s a scrap of truth in any of that is anyone’s guess, but it’s some of the best verbal artillery launched at Conor in his UFC career so far in any event. It makes you wonder what the Stockton crew would’ve come up with over a full two month build-up. Here are a few more things Coach Perez had to say about the upcoming contest.
On taking the fight short-notice:
“He’s been training anyway. Even though it’s a ten day notice or two week or whatever it is we’ll just pick it up (to) a higher notch… Nathan’s always training. He’ll come into the gym and he’ll do boxing and work on jiu jitsu, he’ll run…He does more jiu jitsu and running than anything else and he does boxing when it gets serious.”
On learning about the fight with McGregor:
“I was hoping he’d fight Conor after Aldo because people want to watch that fight, you know? So I wasn’t surprised, I was waiting for it…It was like three days ago (2/25)…He called me and said ‘Rich I’m fighting McGregor.’ I said ‘Alright…what weight?’ He said ‘I don’t know yet, we’ll find out.’ Then he called back and said 170. I said ‘Alright, that’s better for you.’”
On the benefits of fighting at 170:
“He’s not fighting the weight. When you’re cutting weight you’re fighting yourself already. He’s fine now. He’s just focused on training and getting it done… He’s right there, 170, 171.”
On Conor’s trash talking:
“He loves it. It just builds Nathan up. It just pumps him up more…I’ve seen it before. Cowboy was flipping him off and telling him all kinds of stuff and it just made Nathan more hyper, more pumped up to do it.”
On who has the striking advantage:
“The thing is in the striking department Nathan’s a lot better when he’s in good shape and not injured or anything, so the night of the fight McGregor is going to be shocked… McGregor’s a good striker, don’t get me wrong, but Nathan’s better. When Nathan’s on his game plan he’ll make him look silly.”
Two things seem certain, they’re not short on confidence out in the 209, and fans are in for one hell of a show next Saturday.