Nick Diaz cracks Evangelista CyborgUnique personalities are a part of professional sports.

The NFL has it with players like Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. The NBA has always had a cast of characters with players like Dennis Rodman and now Ron Artest.

The sport of MMA is filled with unique personalities, but if there’s one fighter who definitely walks to the beat of his own drum it’s Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz.

Brash and unapologetic, the promotion’s top 170-pounder doesn’t back down from saying what’s on his mind, while even managing to mix in a few expletives along the way. He’s blasted the pay scale in MMA, gone after an opponent in the hospital after their fight was over, and called the thought of fighting his teammates in the cage ‘disgusting.’

He even tosses in a few middle fingers for good measure.

Regardless of whatever personality Diaz portrays before the fight and sometimes even in the fight, as he’s been known to taunt more than a few opponents, his skill is undeniable. A whiz on the ground with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Diaz has also showcased some tremendous boxing skills and possibly the best jab in the sport.

One other characteristic that defines Nick Diaz – he never backs down from his opponent’s strengths.

Most critics would have called Diaz crazy for trying to go toe-to-toe with knockout artist Robbie Lawler when the two met back in 2004, but when it was over it was Lawler who was planted face first on the canvas, the victim of a Diaz punch. After suffering a loss due to cuts from a fight in 2007, Diaz didn’t back down when trading shots with pro boxer turned MMA fighter K.J. Noons in a rematch to defend his Strikeforce belt in 2010.

Diaz now heads into his next test – a fight with possibly the best striker at 170 pounds in the entire sport – with the same attitude that’s always defined who he is.

Come at me with whatever defines you, and I’ll find a way to beat you at your own game.

Going into the fight, Diaz’s opponent, Paul Daley, has said time and time again that he plans on knocking Diaz out, but the Stockton, Calif. native wouldn’t expect anything less. If Daley wasn’t trying to knock him out, Diaz would be disappointed.

“Well, that’s what he does, he throws punches,” Diaz said about Daley’s desire to knock him out. “I’ll take what I can get, I’ll win any way necessary, that’s how I started this. He’s trying to do what he’s got to do. I understand that.”

“That’s a lovely thought for anybody who’s a striker.”

Diaz respects Daley’s knockout power. The former UFC title contender has 27 wins on his record and 20 of them come by way of knockout or TKO.

When Daley swings at someone, it’s always with the intention of knocking them out and more often than not it works. Diaz understands that Daley has dynamite in both hands, but he also knows that the Brit has struggled in other parts of his game, and MMA isn’t just a stand-up fight.

“It’s probably better than anyone else we have fighting in MMA,” Diaz said about Daley’s striking. “I said I wasn’t overly impressed with his MMA skills as far as a fighter. I think it’s a good match-up.”

Many fighters going into a title defense would be talking about holding onto their belt or what it means to be champion. Once again that’s where Diaz is not walking the line.

He says his focus is on making sure he’s ready, but also that his teammates are prepared for their upcoming fights. Diaz works with UFC welterweight contender Jake Shields, as well as Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, his younger brother Nate, and UFC welterweight Daniel Roberts.

Diaz wants his team to make a clean sweep through the month of April where they all have fights. If they accomplish that, Diaz will be happier than any title belt that’s wrapped around his waist.

“I’m a fighter and I’m ready to fight,” said Diaz.

If nothing else defines who Nick Diaz is as a person, training partner, or champion, that one statement does. He’s a fighter.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.


Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.


view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Pioneer Marco Ruas looks back on contribution to MMA, wishes he'd had more UFC fights

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

Long before Marco Ruas became UFC 7’s tournament winner, he was engaging on the now-famous unregulated fights between rival gyms in Rio. He might have gone 9-4 in his MMA career but on the streets, R read news >>

UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey - Fantasy Cheat Sheet

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

All the big fights at UFC 207 are hard to pick but we have you covered with this week's fantasy cheat sheet. Who will win between Amanda Nunes-Ronda Rousey, Dominick Cruz-Cody Garbrandt and more. read news >>

Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey Gets New Promo Clip, 'Vengeance On My Mind' (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 28 views

UFC and international recording artist G-EAZY unleashed a new UFC 207 promotional clip, “Vengeance on My Mind,” on Tuesday. read news >>

UFC 207 - Fight by Fight

  • 25 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC.com goes fight-by-fight and previews all 10 fights to come from UFC 207 on Dec. 30, featuring main event fighters Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey. read news >>

Hendricks, Borg miss weight; fights still on for UFC 207

  • 25 days ago
  • 3 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and flyweight Ray Borg both missed weight for thier fights at UFC 207. read news >>

Rizin 3: Combat Sports Comfort Food | FIGHTLAND

  • 25 days ago
  • 8 views

Everyone knows 'the deal' with Rizin. Freak fights, no drug tests, and unapologetic pandering to the nostalgia of PRIDE fans. Yet in their third event the plucky Japanese promotion pulled off its thi read news >>

Rizin 3: Combat Sports Comfort Food | FIGHTLAND

  • 25 days ago
  • 5 views

Everyone knows 'the deal' with Rizin. Freak fights, no drug tests, and unapologetic pandering to the nostalgia of PRIDE fans. Yet in their third event the plucky Japanese promotion pulled off its thi read news >>

WSOF 34 Weigh-in Results: All Four Title Fights Officially Set | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

All four championship fights on the World Series of Fighting’s historic New Year’s Eve card are official after all the participants made weight Friday. read news >>

WSOF 34 results: Gaethje retains after doctor stoppage in late 'Fight of the Year' candidate

  • 23 days ago
  • 37 views

In one of the wildest fights of the year – and yet somehow just typical Justin Gaethje – the WSOF lightweight champ retained his belt with a doctor’s stoppage of an incredibly game Luiz Firmino.Filed read news >>

UFC 207's Antonio Carlos Junior wants to keep the rhythm of 3 fights a year going in 2017

  • 21 days ago
  • 5 views

LAS VEGAS – Throughout history, the number 3 has held much symbolism. Antonio Carlos Junior is hoping the number is key for him in 2017 the way it was in 2016.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>