"It don't matter to me...I just wanna whip his ass!" One of many Nate Diaz quotables from his pre-fight interviews. Diaz is a brown belt in BJJ under Cesar Gracie, which equates to a black belt among most teachers according to Joe Rogan. Diaz is a young talented grappler with 7 of his 9 wins coming via submission. Four of those submission wins are by triangle choke. A move in which he has almost patented if you will. However, my question is...does he rely on BJJ too much?
Lately in many of his fights, Diaz has ended up on his back more than Jenna Jameson in the 90's. In his last fight he weathered the storm of Kurt Pellegrino and pulled off a beautiful triangle choke to snatch victory from the grasp of "Batman". However, if you watched the fight...Diaz was hurt....BADLY...in the first round. Actually, Pellegrino was 1-2 hard hammer fists away from taking Diaz out via TKO. To his credit, Diaz showed the heart and determination of Big Nog to survive and come away with the victory.
Enter his next fight...rumored to be against Josh Neer at Ultimate Fight Night 14 on September 17th(My Birthday!). A UFC veteran whom has a loss to Nate's brother Nick two years ago at UFC 62. Going 7-1 in his 8 bouts since that loss. Neer comes into the bout with over 20 wins...18 of those via submission/TKO/KO variety. He poses the step up in competition that Diaz has routinely asked for. Could Diaz follow in the footsteps of his brother a get a win over Neer? Sure, however, he must do more than rely on submissions from his back. As he moves up the ladder in the LW division, he will need to show some of the standup skills and take down defense that we've yet to see. If not, he'll be throwing up more prayer's than Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention as Neer pounds him from the top position.