Longtime Nick Diaz coach Cesar Gracie not on board with UFC Abu Dhabi fight vs. Vicente Luque

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Cesar Gracie is not a fan of Nick Diaz’s UFC return fight.

Diaz (26-10 MMA, 7-7 UFC) takes on Vicente Luque (22-10-1 MMA, 15-6 UFC) Aug. 3 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The 40-year-old hasn’t competed since a TKO loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 in September 2021, which was his first fight in more than six years.

Diaz’s longtime coach, Gracie, revealed that he isn’t a part of his training camp. He would have rather Diaz faced someone other than Luque.

“I’m really not involved in that fight,” Gracie told Submission Radio. “I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. That wasn’t my idea. It wasn’t a fight I would have had. Like if I was advising Nick, I wouldn’t have advised him to do that fight. It’s in Abu Dhabi. I wouldn’t advise to go fight overseas at this point, especially Luque is a very tough guy. You know Nick is a tough guy, but it just doesn’t make that much sense for me where Nick is at in his career.

“And I don’t know. It’s not the fight I would have made. I don’t even know what’s going on with that fight to be honest with you. I speak to Nick. I spoke to Nick today a little bit, and yeah, I don’t have any plans for that fight, to be honest with you. I don’t know what’s going to happen with that one to be honest with you.”

According to DraftKings, Diaz is a +340 underdog vs. Luque, who’s a -440 favorite. Gracie is even skeptical that Diaz makes the fight on Aug. 3.

“I haven’t been part of his training for this one. I’m just not,” Gracie said. “We talk every day, and I don’t know what’s going to happen with that, to be honest with you. I don’t. It’s a tossup what’s going to happen. And like, again, I think the camp, our camp in general, we haven’t been as involved like we are with other stuff.

“And so I don’t know what Nick is doing. I know he’s lost a lot of weight and everything, but I don’t really see him training with fighters. And I don’t know what’s going on with that fight.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ABC 7.

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