Diaz relieved to face Henderson and not Edgar

ESPN staff
August 14, 2012

Nate Diaz's trainer Cesar Gracie has admitted that Benson Henderson was always his client's preferred opponent for the UFC lightweight title.

Henderson defended his divisional crown against Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 at the weekend, with Diaz watching on in the knowledge that he would be awarded the chance to fight the winner.

Gracie says there were a number of reasons why they wanted Henderson to emerge victorious - and not just because he might prove easier to beat.

"Ben Henderson was the ideal opponent," Gracie told Sherdog. "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."

He added: "Before the fight I remember, we were just thinking, man, we want Frankie to win, but then we don't want to fight him. It was kind of a weird deal right there. It got resolved."

Diaz may now work with Edgar - who has fought Henderson twice, going the distance both times - ahead of his upcoming title shot, in order to get some insight into how his opponent operates, although no plans will be made until the fight date and details are finalised.

"That's a really good idea [to work with Edgar] 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."

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