Loyalty is a funny thing in MMA. Fighters from the same camp will often refuse to fight each other, no matter the potential gain. Title on the line? No thanks. Tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars? Not worth it. For many fighters, the bond forged in training is unbreakable. That is, unbreakable until one of the fighters jumps to another camp, and then it’s open season.
That’s the case for Nate Diaz and Tyson Griffin. The pair trained together with Cesar Gracie once upon a time. Several years back, Griffin made the choice to move to Las Vegas to train with Randy Couture and the rest of the fighters at Xtreme Couture. On the surface, that’s a reasonable move. After all, Xtreme Couture is one of the premier MMA camps in the world. For Diaz, it was unacceptable.
Diaz has been very open with his desire to fight his former training partner. I asked Diaz about Griffin and whether or not he still wants that fight. In a word: yes.
“Tyson Griffin, I’d like to fight him no matter what. He’s a bitch. I don’t even like him. Right now, I’m focused on Gray, but yeah, fuck Tyson.”
When asked whether his animosity towards Griffin was due to his departure from the Gracie camp or if there were other reasons, Diaz had this to say:
“Yeah, well, we’re fighters man. It’s like, a lot of guys these days jump around from team to team, and he was with us, and he started acting like he was ahead of me, saying I needed to work my way up to fight him, I heard stuff like that, and I’m like, let’s not beat around the bush. Remember, when he came to my gym…I was already training and I fought before him, and I whooped him. You know, he jumped in sometimes with me and Gilbert in training. He came every now and then and got handled most of the time he was in training. And then I hear him talking [in] interviews and, basically, it’s hard to understand that you’re a fighter but he trained with me, sweat and bled and all that shit, and then people were like ‘oh, don’t you want to go see why they’re training with [Xtreme Couture]?’ And I’m like no, what he did is he’s over there training with Gray now, who I got to fight, talking about everything, whatever the fuck, from when I used to train with him or what I do or whatever. Not Gray specifically, but anybody I might have to fight. As far as I’m concerned, besides being a traitor, it’s all about not being a bitch, fucking over your friends, or whatever, you know?”
It’s not as if Diaz feel that Griffin betrayed him personally, though, as he went on to clarify.
“It’s not that personal. He [was] never really my friend that deep. He was a training partner, so I was down for him, then he bounced, so whatever. I like him less than people I gotta fight normally, you know? I think he’s a bitch.”
I asked Maynard if Griffin was giving him the inside scoop on Diaz. Before Gray could really answer, Nate jumped in.
“All [Griffin] can say is ‘Nate used to whoop my ass in training.’ There’s nothing Tyson Griffin can say except that I used to fuck him up.”