Diaz watched the UFC
150 lightweight title fight Saturday between Benson
Henderson and Frankie
Edgar knowing that he would be fighting the winner.
According to trainer Cesar
Gracie, Diaz didn’t want Henderson to prevail, but he did
prefer to fight him for the championship.
“Ben Henderson was the ideal opponent,” Gracie told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He really was. Not because
he’s easier. Just because Nate really doesn’t want to fight
Frankie. Frankie’s been to my school a couple of times. He’s a
great guy and he’s kind of a part of our extended family with the
Almeida [connection] and those guys out there on the East
Coast. If my guys are going to train on the East Coast, that’s
where they’re going to train -- Ricardo’s or Matt Serra’s,
Renzo [Gracie’s], something like that. We love to have that kind of
The connection with Edgar put the Cesar
Gracie camp in an awkward spot while watching UFC 150,
“Before the fight I remember, we were just thinking, man, we want
Frankie to win, but then we don’t want to fight him,” Gracie said.
“It was kind of a weird deal right there. It got resolved.”
Henderson won via split decision. In Gracie’s view, the champion
should have lost his belt to Edgar.
“It was a close fight,” Gracie said. “I remember at the end of the
fight I thought to myself that Frankie probably took it. I did
think Frankie won on the scorecards, but like I said, it was pretty
close. It just looked like Frankie wanted it more. He was kind of
pressing the action more. He was doing more.”
The fight was a rematch following Henderson’s unanimous decision
over Edgar in February. In two fights, they have spent 50 minutes
in the cage together. Edgar’s experience with Henderson could prove
beneficial to Diaz should they work together before Diaz’s shot at
“That’s a really good idea actually, but we haven’t got that far
along in the process,” Gracie said. “We haven’t even got the date
of the fight. It’s a little early to get that far into it, but once
we get the date set and we put in a good plan going forward,
something like that would definitely interest me.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:28:10).