In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Holland recalled the first time he came across the elder son of Stockton — and how things quickly went awry. According to Holland, the story took place years ago at a taping of Dana White’s Contender Series in Las Vegas.
“At the time, I used to be sponsored by this company named Specimen, right?” Holland explained. “And so I had this shirt on from Specimen, and [Diaz] was like, ‘Hey, that’s my shirt.’ But I had walked past him and I was like, ‘Yo, what’s up, OG?’
“I guess he probably thought somebody was coming up to him and fanboying over him, but I was talking to my coach. I call my coach OG. I’ll be like, ‘What’s up, OG?’ So, yeah, he was like — I guess he felt some type of way, and he said something, so I said something back. And then next thing you know, he, like, swung at me.”
In retelling the tale, Holland speculated Diaz may have partaken in some adult beverages that night, which may have clouded his judgement, though he couldn’t say for sure.
Either way, according to Holland, the entire situation did indeed begin over a case of a mistaken t-shirt — and somehow led to an attempted Stockton slap.
“He said something, but he said it like that was his shirt,” Holland recalled. “He was like, ‘You got on my f*cking shirt,’ and I was like, ‘Bro, this ain’t your f*cking shirt. Like, what are you talking about?’ I was like, ‘Bro, you must be f*cked up,’ and he was like looking at me all crazy. And then he [swung to slap me], and I was like, ‘What the f*ck?’ And I dodged it. I was thinking, like, ‘Is this sh*t really happening right now?’ He, like, grabbed my leg, and I was bouncing on one leg, and I’m like, ‘Yo, get the f*ck off me.’
“And I, like, shoved him off, and then my coach is like, ‘Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo!’ And I’m like, ‘Bro, this [n-word] is tripping.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah.’ So yeah, excuse my language, but I got into it. It’s just, it’s Diaz. That’s probably how he plays with his buddies. I don’t know. He was sauced, maybe he thought it was a good time. I don’t know. He didn’t hit me, it’s whatever. I was a big Diaz fan and then he did that, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I like Diaz no more.’”
It’s an amusing memory for Holland to look back on now, in part because no actual damage was done to anyone involved. Holland walked away unscathed — “I’m the type of person you take down, not the type of person you’ll be able to hit in the face,” he said with a laugh — and Diaz did so as well. Fortunately, further escalation was seemingly able to be avoided.
Diaz eventually went on to make his UFC return in September 2021 at age 38, losing via TKO to Robbie Lawler at UFC 266, while Holland will try to break a three-fight winless streak when he drops down to 170 pounds on March 5 against Alex Oliveira at UFC 272.
Yet even after the fact, Holland’s friends still can’t help but support the Stockton legend.
“All my boys still like the Diaz brothers,” Holland said, chuckling again. “I tell my boys, my boys laugh. They’re like, ‘Oh, you got to hang out the Diaz bros!’
“Nate’s still the GOAT. It was funny though. Honestly, now I look back, it was funny. At the time, I was hot. But now I look back, it was pretty funny.”