Cleat Geeks

MMA Spotlight: Nate Diaz

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or just don’t like mixed-martial arts, then you’ve probably heard the name Conor McGregor more times than you care to think about over the past week. With all the talk around McGregor and his antics, I thought it might be a good time to look at his would-be opponent: Nate Diaz.NateDiaz

Diaz (19-10 MMA, 14-8 UFC) was scheduled with McGregor as the main event at UFC 200 on July 9th in Las Vegas, that is, until McGregor failed to show up for promotional events and was pulled from UFC 200 altogether. This effectively pulled Nate Diaz from the event as well. However, UFC President Dana White said he would like to find a fight for Diaz to keep him on the card, just not as the main event. The main event has been replaced with a title fight rematch between light heavyweights Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

Diaz wasn’t interested in a different fight for UFC 200. “I came to fight Conor McGregor and I don’t really have too much interest in anybody else,” said Diaz. When White made it clear the rematch wasn’t happening at UFC 200, Diaz announced on twitter he was going on vacation.

To that, White said, “We’re going to offer him some fights and see what he wants to do. It sounded like he wanted Conor and only Conor at the press conference (in Las Vegas), but we gave him the opportunity to come. I didn’t want to rip him off of the opportunity to fight at 200 if he wanted.”

In March, at UFC 196, Diaz beat McGregor by submission from a rear-naked choke in the second round. Diaz took the fight with only 11 days notice to replace Rafael do Anjos. The fight won Fight of the Night honors and Diaz was also awarded a Performance of Night bonus. You can see why there was and still is so much hype around this rematch:

Diaz has a big decision to make: wait for the match up he wants or fight at one of the biggest UFC events to date. I know the fans, myself included, are hoping for a rematch. Just look at the tension from the first weigh-in.

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are separated by UFC President Dana White

Diaz is a southpaw fighting out of Stockton, CA in the welterweight and lightweight divisions. Although Diaz is known for his striking and boxing skills, 12 of his wins are by submission (five guillotine, four triangle, one armbar, one keylock, and one rear-naked choke), earning him Submission of the Night bonuses five times. He won The Ultimate Fighter 5, has a black belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and is currently #5 in the official UFC lightweight rankings.

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