The Rock admits he “wasn’t surprised” by Nate Diaz’s comments about him in the UFC 244 post-fight press conference.
After losing to Jorge Masvidal in the main event of the penultimate pay-per-view card of the year – which he lost via third-round doctor stoppage – Diaz took aim at the WWE superstar for siding with his opponent.
The fan favourite, who suffered a nasty laceration above his right eye, jokingly said The Rock – real name Dwayne Johnson – ‘picked the wrong side’ and he can ‘get his a** whipped too’.
Diaz’s comments, which he offset by saying he liked Johnson’s show tv show Ballers, were put to the Hollywood superstar during his appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
And the Jumanji star, who was in attendance at UFC 244 to present the BMF title, revealed he was ‘totally fine’ with the Ultimate Fighter season five winner’s stance given his well-publicised connections with ‘Gamebred’.
“I wasn’t surprised at Nate’s comments,” Johnson said. “Because that’s the Nate we all know and love. He is as advertised. Nate, he gets it. He knows me and Jorge we’re boys, we’re from Miami, we have a lot of deep connections down there.
“A lot of the fighters we know, a lot of the coaches and trainers we know, a lot of the gyms that we’ve been to down there So there’s a connection. So no, I was totally fine with it. He gets it.”
Johnson tried to remain impartial throughout the build-up to the fight, which is expected to be the UFC’s highest-grossing bout of 2019.
He added: “I wanted to be as neutral as possible when we were promoting it because as we were leading up to it and selling it on pay-per-view, I didn’t want to come and out say, ‘Jorge’s my boy and he’s going to win’. No, I just wanted to be neutral.
“And I thought that was the best, smartest, strategic play to get as many new eyes on this fight as possible.
“And again, help impact in my own little way. And from what I’m told, since the UFC transitioned to ESPN, it was the biggest fight they’ve ever had, second to, I’m sorry, Conor [McGregor] and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] – which is quite an accomplishment. I’m very proud for both those guys.”
Last week, Diaz, 34, appeared to hint on Instagram that retirement was around the corner,
The Stockton native, however, performed a U-turn a few days later, insisting he’ll ‘fight forever’.
Diaz is keen to have a rematch with Masvidal but doesn’t believe the UFC brass are open to letting him avenge his 12th career loss.
“I can already see the f*****y coming,” Diaz said in the post-fight press conference. “I know how the game works.
“I give all the rematches and make names for all these people. I believe I was responsible for this whole s***.
“I brought the president – straight up. I didn’t see no president going to no title fights. I believe it’s fair.
“Hopefully, they don’t throw a bunch of money and clout Jorge’s way. They be like, ‘Let’s do something else.’ He’s got to fight number 27 again.
“Because that’s the name of the game when it’s repetitive. Dana’s already talking that s**t, you know what I’m saying.
“I need to get my rematch and come back. Do things right, do things safe, come back 100 percent and win this fight. Seal the real deal.”