“(Michael) Jordan, (Charles) Barkley, Karl Malone – We’re Still Gonna Step Up”: 1 Week After Leaving Fans Devastated, UFC Brothers Can Find Solace in Shaquille O’Neal

Published 09/09/2023, 6:00 AM EDT

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NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is not someone whose interests stop on the hardwood. The 2000 NBA MVP is also known to be a big follower of the UFC. From bringing out his musical talents at Alexander Volkanovski’s wild after-party to trying out a few bouts in the ring himself, the 51-year-old has a keen interest when it comes to this violent spectator sport.

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His interest in the mixed martial arts led him to give out a few words of encouragement to two renowned UFC brothers who are currently facing a downfall.

2 year old words of encouragement from Shaquille O’Neal

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An Instagram handle by the name of ‘natediazswarroom’ recently uploaded a post. Highlighting mixed martial art artists Nick and Nate Diaz in one frame, the post also carried a few words from Shaquille O’Neal. The three-time NBA Champion was quoted as saying that he likes both the Diaz brothers since they serve as a reminder of himself.

“We just don’t give a damn, we’re always gonna put on a show, and it don’t matter who you put in front of us- [Michael] Jordan, [Charles] Barkley, Karl Malone- we’re still gonna step up,” said Shaq’s quote.

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O’Neal’s above quote was taken back in April 2021 by ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto. From the start, the Los Angeles Lakers legend has liked what the brothers have brought to the sport of MMA and has encouraged them to continue on their path.

The post caught the attention of Shaq himself, who took to Instagram to share it with his 32.2 Million followers. This goes on to show that while the quote may be old, Big Diesel is still rooting for the fighters. They might need the support even more these days.

Nick Diaz’s latest bout session caused worry amongst fans

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A few weeks ago, Nate Diaz faced off against 26-year-old wrestler and media personality Logan Paul. The same night, the latter’s brother Logan called out Nick for a separate match.

While it was Nick himself who expressed the willingness to fight either of the Paul brothers, there has been no official confirmation from Diaz’s side. Many fans have speculated the reason for the hesitance after a video started to make the rounds of Reddit.

In the same, Nick and Nate Diaz were seen having a practice session. The older brother, donning a pair of gold colored boxing gloves, was seen having problems with his defense and was unable to land punches in an effective manner. At times, he allegedly look tired and unable to continue.

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The video became a source for fans to debate on what is actually happening, with many of them expressing their sadness at seeing their idol in this condition.

WATCH THIS STORY | “He Passed That Sunday”: Shaquille O’Neal’s 66YO Buddy Reminisces the “Surreal” Moment When the World Lost NBA Legend, Kobe Bryant

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Written by:

Ashmit Kumar

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Ashmit is an NBA author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, he carries a deep passion for writing and researching about basketball events around the world. Ashmit specializes in bringing captivating stories that provide in-depth coverage of teams, players, and significant events associated with the world of professional basketball.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair

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