Don’t call yourself a fight fan unless you love what Nate Diaz did at UFC 202. You may not like the guy with the permascowl embedded on his face. But you have got to respect the fact that this man is a pure fighter.
Even in defeat, Diaz showed a nasty grit that his hardcore followers have seen since the guy entered the fight game long ago. I don’t need to tell you the guy is a warrior. Just take a look at his face.
This mug belongs to a man who fought maybe the best athlete in the UFC for 25 minutes, and Diaz was still standing at the end. And ready for a couple more rounds.
Make no mistake; this is not a feel-good story about a guy who shocked the world in the first fight, then made a decent showing in the rematch. McGregor was fortunate to get the win. The decision could have gone to Diaz in this one. After losing the first two rounds, many had Diaz winning each of the last three.
But the only judges who mattered saw it differently.
“I thought I won,” Diaz told reporters after the fight.
“I’m not bitter, though; I got paid.”
“Conor ran the whole fight,” Diaz told them.
McGregor did fight a smart fight and stayed away when Nate became dangerous in the later rounds. But I can’t take anything away from the UFC Featherweight Champion. Diaz’s face looked this way because McGregor took him apart early on.
After round two, it was McGregor who would get a taste of a beatdown. Between rounds, he looked nothing like the polished businessman who sports perfect suits while promoting his fights. He looked like he’d prefer to be just about anywhere other than trapped in a cage with a man he could not put away with his best shots.
“He’s at the hospital. I’m right here. I’m gonna finish my night in Vegas like a soldier,” Diaz told reporters as a blood drop crept down his battered face.
Most fight fans would pay $60 just for Nate’s post-fight comments.
He did the unthinkable by unseating Conor McGregor in the first fight. He lost the second battle in what’s sure to be a trilogy, but damn if he didn’t unseat McGregor as the nastiest shit talker in the UFC.
Check that….Diaz was already at the top of the heap of junk talkers. He had just failed to get the attention he deserved. Until he got a shot at McGregor, who was simply better as a self-promoter.
For new fans of Diaz, you better watch closely for his next few fights. The kid from Stockton has wised up and won’t be fighting just anybody. He said it himself. He’s already put in the work with 31 professional fights.
Nothing left for him to prove.
All he’s looking to do now is to get paid.
Good. I believe he’s learned a lot by being near McGregor.
“I’m not interested in any fight other than Conor.”
“He’s supposed to be a businessman. Not a very smart business move to fight someone else,” Diaz said.
Maybe the only thing fans were disappointed in was Diaz helping McGregor up right after the final bell. This happens all the time with fake hatred used to hype a fight. Lots of hugs between guys after the PPV money has been counted, when they were supposed to loathe each other.
This was different, though. I think these two cats really don’t like each other. Nate is jealous of Conor being successful with a blueprint that Diaz has used since arriving in the UFC with a brash style. And Conor hates the fact that a common thug like Nate has erased his invincibility.
What fans can’t understand is what went on in that Octagon at UFC 202 was a war. So even with the bitterness between these two soldiers, respect can’t help but rear its head right after the battle ends.
Both threw their nastiest stuff at the other.
Neither would go away.
These two men have made the fight game better while wreaking havoc on one another.
If not for Rafael dos Anjos pulling out of UFC 196, we probably never get to witness the wars between Diaz and McGregor.
“I’m not like these other guys pulling out of fights (as Diaz talked about his injuries during training camp),” Diaz stated post-fight.
And the legend of Nate Diaz never grows to the level we see now, where he is one of the top draws in the UFC. Thank God for lesser fighters pulling out of fights.
And thank God for Nate Diaz. A real fighter who finally got rewarded for years of grinding. There’s a nation full of people grinding every day just to make ends meet, who know his struggle in a different way.
Good to see hard work….and a nasty disposition pay off.
Grinders rarely transform into legends.
Nate Diaz is doing just that, right before our eyes.