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The Diaz Mentality

Updated: Aug 18, 2019

Nick Diaz has recently been cleared to fight again after a three-year ban from the UFC for Marijuana was lifted in April and his domestic violence case was dismissed on August 30th. Nate Diaz is looking to make his return to the Octagon on November 3rd against Lightweight Fighter Dustin Poirier at UFC 230. While it's unclear whether Nick Diaz will ever fight in the Octagon again, it needs to be mentioned how important these two athletes are to the sport and the unique approach they bring. I like to call it the Diaz Mentality.

Fighter Overview

Fighter: Nick Diaz

Record: 26-9-2NC (7-6-1NC in UFC)

Knockout or Submission Losses: Twice. Jeremy Jackson (2002) and KJ Noons (2007)

Most Notable Wins: Robbie Lawler, BJ Penn and Paul Daley

Decision Losses: 7

Notable Accomplishment: Strikeforce Welterweight Champion

Biggest Rival: GSP (0-1), Jeremy Jackson (2-1) and Robbie Lawler (1-0)

Fighter: Nate Diaz

Record: 19-11 (14-9 in UFC)

Knockout or Submission Losses: Twice. Josh Thomson (2013) and Hermes Franca (2006)

Most Notable Wins: Donald Cerrone, Conor McGregor, Jim Miller

Decision Losses: 9

Notable Accomplishments: Ultimate Fighter Season 5 Winner

Biggest Rival: Conor McGregor (1-1) and Gray Maynard (2-1)

Breaking Down Their Combined 67 Fights

- UFC record of 21-15-1NC

- They have Combined for 25 Fights Ending in a Decision (8-17 record when Fights are decided by Judges)

- In Fights ending By Knockout they are 17-3

- In Fights ending by Submission they are 21-1

Controversial Decisions 

UFC 94: Clay Guida vs. Nate Diaz: The 2 Fan Favorites met at UFC 94 to open up the Main Card for GSP vs. BJ Penn. Leading into the fight, Diaz was on a 5 fight win streak and Clay Guida was coming off of consecutive victories. The fight was very exciting and entertaining and at the end of the day it was very difficult to pick a clear winner. The Judges earned a split decision win for Guida in a classic. Nate Diaz clearly had the advantage on the feet with 39 significant head strikes and 120 total head strikes compared to Guida only landing 15 significant strikes to the head and 59 total. Guida however landed 31 leg kicks to Diaz's 4 and secured 4 takedowns on route to the victory.

UFC Fight Night: Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz: This fight was the 2nd of three meetings between the two fighters and their previous bout was on Season 5 of the Ultimate Fighter with Diaz earning a submission win. Gray Maynard should have lost this fight as well. Nate Diaz landed 77 Total Strikes and 49 significant head strikes in comparison to Gray Maynard's 53 total Strikes and 29 significant head strikes. There were no takedowns in this fight and it should have been a narrowly earned win for Diaz but instead Maynard walked away with the win. They met three years later for a rematch and Diaz earned a 1st round knockout victory.

UFC 125: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Nate Diaz: This was a very close fight but I'm thinking Nate Diaz won this one as well. Diaz landed 81 Total Strikes to Kim only landing 34 and Diaz landed 22 Significant Head Strikes to Kim landing 9. The Deciding factor in the fight for the judges was Kim's 3 takedowns against Diaz earning only 1 takedown. To argue that point, I would point out that Kim didn't inflict much damage from top position and Diaz was the fighter who actually attempted a submission from the takedown. Kim was also 3 for 7 on takedowns while Diaz was 100% going 1 for 1 on his takedowns.

UFC 202: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz: This one was coming. The Rematch bout between two of the most popular stars still gives MMA fans arguments over who actually won. The Official Decision was a Majority Decision Victory for Conor McGregor but I'm still holding to either a Diaz victory or draw in this match-up. Round 1 was Conor McGregor, he landed more shots at 34-25 and he even got a knockdown, so 10-9 Conor. Round 2 is a lot closer because although McGregor earned a Knockdown, Diaz outlanded him 51-36 and 37-34 on significant strikes. But I'll give McGregor fans this round as well to make it 20-18 McGregor. Round 3 is all Nate Diaz as he started to pick up the pace and land a lot of shots out landing McGregor 79-37 and 49-26 in significant strikes; making it 29-28 McGregor. Round 4 was very close with the numbers giving a slight edge towards McGregor but like Round 2, numbers don't tell everything and during this round Diaz was still the one applying pressure and pushing the pace but I'll even give McGregor a draw in this round so it's 38-37 entering round 5. Round 5 is Nate Diaz's again very convincingly because he landed 49 strikes to McGregor's 34 and earned a takedown. This was also the round where McGregor was famously running away from Diaz looking to survive the round because he was so gassed. Ending score is 47-47 Draw. Round 1 was convincing for McGregor, Rounds 3 and 5 were convincing for Diaz and Rounds 2 and 4 were toss ups that I gave the benefit of the doubt to McGregor on both occasions. I still think however the fight should be 47-47 draw or 48-47 Diaz with Diaz winning rounds 3 through 5.

Diaz and McGregor embrace after their 5 round war in 2016

UFC 59: Sean Sherk vs. Nick Diaz: This is the one decision with Nick Diaz that I think the judges got wrong and although the argument can be made for the Karo Parisyan or Joe Riggs fight; this was the one that didn't make sense. Nick Diaz out landed Sean Sherk 131-80 in total strikes and 47-30 in Significant head strikes. In Significant Body and Leg Strikes Diaz out landed him 10-9 but the judges looked at the takedowns. Sean Sherk won the fight 30-27 across the board despite going 2-19 on takedowns which means Nick Diaz stuffed 17 takedown attempts. Nick Diaz also was 100% on takedowns going 1-1 and he attempted 3 submissions throughout the fight while Sean Sherk did virtually nothing. This is the fight that Nick has brought up in interviews when addressing his complaints about the judges or the UFC and rightfully so. It was one of the reasons I believe that caused Nick Diaz to finish off his contract in 2006 and then leave the UFC for EliteXC and Strikeforce where he spent the prime of his career before returning to the UFC in 2011.

Diaz Mentality

Everyone knows that the Diaz brothers are talented in many aspects of Martial Arts. They have very sharp boxing skills and striking that has contributed to their stand-up style. They both have black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that gives them confidence on the ground whenever they are put against a wrestler but there's something else that allows them to be great and that's the Diaz Mentality. It's made up of 4 parts: Cardio/Durability, Trash Talking, Authenticity and Heart.

Cardio/Durability: The Diaz Brothers may have the best cardio in the UFC because they practice and train throughout their fighting career daily. The Diaz brothers train for triathlons and iron man competitions giving them insane Cardio and as Nate Diaz famously said after beating Conor McGregor on less than 2 weeks notice; "We should always be ready to fight everyone on our worst days". Obviously the Cardio gives them the ability to protect themselves and stay in shape for 3 rounds or 5 rounds. They frequently go the full duration of fights and it's a tribute to how well conditioned and durable they are. Obviously the 2018 Nick Diaz parties a lot and may have conditioning issues if he makes a return but Nate Diaz still seems interested in keeping in shape.

Trash Talking: The Diaz Brothers don't run their mouth as much outside the Octagon as inside the Octagon. They are world class trash talkers because of the way they get to fighters during a fight. Nate Diaz is more vocal outside the Octagon and tends to not talk as much trash while fighting but Nick Diaz was wild. He famously got under the skin of Robbie Lawler, Frank Shamrock, Paul Daley and Anderson Silva during the fight. Nick Diaz is probably the greatest trash talker in MMA because he doesn't run to interviewers to talk trash but he literally trash talks in his opponents face during the fight. A lot of people claim guys like Kevin Lee, James Vick, Dominick Cruz, Mike Perry and others are great trash talkers but all their talking is done outside the Octagon. The Diaz brothers run their antics like a man being face to face with their opponent.

Authenticity: The Diaz Brothers are genuine and honest about the way they live their life. They aren't afraid to smoke weed or go to parties and they are not afraid to speak their mind about other fighters and the UFC company. They grew up in Stockton, California during the 90's and the time of Gangster Rap influence on the West Coast and they carry where their from and who they are with pride. They don't put on a show like other UFC fighters but they respect where they're from and they've stayed loyal with their team at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, Joe Schilling, Richard Perez continue to be their team.

Heart: The Diaz Brothers have the heart of a fighter and they are part of the rare breed of fighters that were born to do this. Fighting to the Diaz brothers is everyday life and they will continue to push forward and fight during a match until they can't fight any longer. This is the biggest reason I am a Diaz fan and you can see it in their actions and the way they don't want to be friends with their opponent because they have a killer mindset. They were born to fight and I hope they continue to fight in the near future.

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