Freddie Roach, who has worked with some of the biggest names in MMA on their boxing, including Georges St-Pierre, shared his thoughts in a recent interview with Fight Hub TV on Nick Diaz, who will face St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title Saturday in the UFC 158 main event.
Diaz is considered by many to have some of the best boxing in MMA. Roach doesn’t seem so impressed.
“He’s a tough guy, okay. He won’t tap out. He’s a tough guy. I’ve never met the person. He might be one of the better punchers in UFC, but he doesn’t fight like a fighter. He doesn’t shuffle and land combinations and put his weight behind his shots. He walks forward. He walks forward in a straight line and walks backwards in a straight line. I’m not really that impressed with his boxing. … Diaz walks forward with combinations. If you move back in a straight line he’ll kill ya, but the thing is you just can’t let him do that. You can’t give him momentum.”
Asked if he thinks the fight between St-Pierre and Diaz will go the distance, Roach said:
“Diaz is very resilient. Georges, I think is very smart. So, I don’t think anyone is going to really get caught making a mistake. Well, Diaz might, but the thing is he won’t tap out. You’ll have to kill him. He is a tough guy. I like that about him and so forth. The mentality as a fighter, I think they’re more street fighters than boxers. He’s a good street fighter I would say.”
How much will Diaz’s boxing play into the fight with St-Pierre? Will he get a chance to tee off with his trademark combinations or will St-Pierre choose to take it to the ground? I wonder what Freddie Roach would think about the video of Nick Diaz punching the speed bag for 23 straight minutes — you think that would impress the legendary boxing coach?