Nick Diaz is perhaps MMA’s most perplexing individual. He’s always been a good fighter. But his fighting skills haven’t been what’s kept him in the news. It’s his mouth and actions.
Diaz is there one minute, gone the next. He busts his rear-end in the gym, and then no-shows for press conferences. He’s a thoughtful guy, yet often rambles in his interviews.
Diaz, however, is one of the few people in MMA who standout because of their personalities. He’s a marketable star. He’s still a good fighter. Let’s look at why the UFC should be Diaz’s home.
5. Great Fights Ahead
Let’s face it: Georges St-Pierre is at the end of his career. He can’t finish fights anymore. His performances have gotten progressively worse in the last three years. He’s not getting any better. He’s not going to be around much longer. Diaz has a window of an opportunity to make an impact in the UFC’s welterweight division now that GSP is on his way out. He’s already knocked out Robbie Lawler once.
4. He Still Needs To Prove Himself
Diaz is a good fighter, and potentially could be a great fighter. He has not come through in the clutch, however. He lost to 5-round decision to St-Pierre, in a fight where he didn’t really do much damage to the Canadian champ. He lost to Carlos Condit because he didn’t try to finish him. Diaz, at his best, appears to be one of the best fighters in the world. He needs to win the big one, though, and he can only do that in the UFC
3. Fight Robbie Lawler
Look at Lawler’s rise in the UFC. Here’s a guy who lost five out eight fights in Strikeforce. He appeared like a shot fighter. Then he goes to the UFC and knocks out two top fighters and derails the rising Rory MacDonald’s title chances. If Lawler can return to glory, Diaz certainly can. Diaz already knocked Lawler out in 2004. It’s a weird MMA world when Lawler is a top contender in the UFC and Diaz is on the shelf pouting. No one would have predicted that a couple years ago. Diaz vs. Lawler would be one of those great wars that could draw big UFC on Fox ratings.
2. UFC Needs Personalities
Look at how far Chael Sonnen has gone, largely based on his mouth. Sonnen is most in character when he is insulting his opponents. Ever see him, however, when he likes his opponent? He doesn’t say anything. In his big fight against Rashad Evans at UFC 167, Sonnen barely promoted the fight. He liked Evans too much. Diaz, on the other hand, is 100 percent authentic. When he opens his mouth he is real. He is genuine. He speaks from the heart. He says crazy things, but he’s not doing it for attention or to sell fights. That’s just how he is. The UFC needs personalities. It has a ton of really good fighters, but few of them have the ability to carry a live interview. UFC is sitting on a gold mine, but Diaz needs to be willing to step up and commit to the sport.
1. Do It For The Cesar Gracie Camp
Cesar Gracie fighters haven’t exactly flopped, but they were certainly capable of more than what they showed. Jake Shields is still looking for the elusive UFC title. Gilbert Melendez came close against Benson Henderson, but didn’t fight hard the fifth round. Nate Diaz also lost to Henderson and then was knocked out by Josh Thomson, of all people. And Nick Diaz lost to Carlos Condit and GSP in his big fights. Diaz needs to show the world that the Gracie camp is full of some of the baddest fighters on the planets. He takes great pride in his alliances, and what better way to pay pack his legendary coach than to win a UFC world title for him. Diaz has great potential to be a flag-bearer for the Gracie camp. He can’t do it, however, unless he’s in the UFC.