Judo Chop: The Boxing and Jiu Jitsu of Nick Diaz

Photo by Esther Lin for Strikeforce.

Strikeforce welterweight champion brings an unusual skill set to MMA. He's a top-notch grappler with an excellent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu pedigree courtesy of his coach Cesar Gracie. He's also developed an unusual, but effective, high-volume punching style for MMA.

Challenger Paul Daley's dangerous Muay Thai game will put Diaz to the test. Daley has struggled with wrestlers in the past, but he's rarely lost in a fight that stayed on the feet.  On the other hand, Diaz is a dangerous submission artist and if the fight goes to the ground, Daley will be in deep trouble.

We've discussed Diaz' technique in two prior Judo Chops:

In the full entry  we'll look at some animated gifs from those Judo Chops.

SBN coverage of Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley

Here's a little bit from the Gogoplata piece with BE grappling editor K.J. Gould breaking down the unusual submission:

From K.J. Gould:


 Gomi parries a jab and ducks alooping cross to shoot a double and continues driving off the ground as Diaz tries to stop it but Gomi manages to finish it.

But, Gomi makes the cardinal sin of submission grappling and that's leaving a hand or arm on the ground when inside someone's guard. Worse still he kept his head up allowing Diaz on flexibility alone to pull his leg in front of his head and wedge his shin under his throat. With a clinch like grip on top and bringing is other leg over Diaz locks the choke in place and Gomi not knowing how to defend taps out.

There are ways of countering the gogoplata (by the way, it's named that because 'gogo' in Portuguese refers to the throat or front part of the throat). If it's on, a common first line of defense is to simply turn your head and have the chin against your jaw. Also stacking the bottom guy and pivoting away while limp-arming your trapped arm and pulling it free where you could work on a pass, or if you're inventive apply a form of toehold.

Before it even clears your head, either put your head on the chest or tripod your head on the floor so there is now a barrier stopping the leg from coming over. With the tripod it allows you to pivot again and limp-arm out. Or if he doesn't have your posture fully locked down posture up.


Here's a look at Diaz' boxing from the second piece:

Nicksmith_mediumOn the left we see Diaz boxing up Scott Smith in their June 2009 fight. Note how Smith ducks and covers to avoid the barrage of hooks but that just leaves him more exposed as Diaz deftly mixes hooks to the head with shots to the body. None of the punches are kill shots on their own, but the cumulative damage is obvious and palpable. 

Here's CompuStrike talking about Diaz' performance vs Smith:

Nick Diaz will never be accused of not letting his hands go. Diaz broke his previous CompuStrike record for total strikes thrown in a round (181) when he unloaded 221 in the second round vs. Scott Smith enroute to a third round submission win.

More importantly, Diaz landed a CompuStrike record 125 total strikes in that second round (57%), shattering Michael Bisping's record of 105 landed in the first round of his ko win over Elvis Sinosic. 117 of Diaz's total strikes landed were arm strikes (56%), another CompuStrike record. He also attempted a CompuStrike record 210 arm strikes in the round. Diaz outlanded Smith 125-15 in total strikes in round two.
Diaz landed 25 total strikes per minute in the second round vs. Smith, throwing 44 total strikes per minute. Gannon landed 33 punches per minute vs. White, while Phillips threw an amazing 79 punches per minute vs. Oliveira.

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