I already made a fanpost earlier today: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2012/10/21/3536394/sigbets-i-dont-know-what-they-are-and-how-they-work
But with all these stories about Nick Diaz on the frontpage I couldn't help but write this. I've been watching MMA since about 2004 (Im only 17 about to be 18) but I didnt get into enough to call myself a "hardcore fan" until about 2008. My uncle watched a lot of MMA and I'm close to my uncle, the first couple event's I watched with him were UFC 47 and I really feel in love with the sport and even though the main event was the only real attraction I became attached to one fighter in particular because of his in the cage antics, that of course was Nick Diaz. I mean who the hell taunts another professional fighter like that and slaps him? It was the greatest thing I had ever seen and for a scrawny guy who looked like he didnt punch very hard to back up all the shit talk and deliver a one punch knockout was awesome to me.
Nick's next main card fight was against Diego Sanchez over a year after I first saw him and well I wasn't the happiest but I someone else I became a fan of won in Rashad Evans. I liked Rashad for the same reason I liked Nick, he showboated and to do that in a cage fight takes balls and I will always have a weird sense of respect and revere for someone who taunts another fighter in the cage (especially Rashad doing it to Heavyweights). I enjoy that way more than the public berating someone like Chael Sonnen does before a fight but once he losses show respect it just seems like it's just to cut a promo but it works. So fast forward to the next successful Diaz appearance in the octagon against the semi-talented none-personality having Josh Neer I enjoyed it and even though the 11 year old version of me quietly found grappling "gay" to a certain extent Nick Diaz winning was good because he was someone I rooted for since I first started watching.
Skipping over the TKO win over Tibau and here comes the point where I transformed from "Ohhh Nick Diaz is fighting cool" to "When the hell is that guy fighting again I need to see more". It was in Vegas against Gomi I was there I got tickets and went with my Uncle for my birthday and it is still my favorite birthday. Nick Diaz vs Takanori Gomi is personally one of my favorite fights and it made me a fan of both guys (I became a fan of several fighters that day winners and losers Pride 33 is one of the best events ever IMO) I didnt even know what the fuck a gogoplata was it looked uncomfortable as shit though all I knew was Nick Diaz was a bad motherfucker and I was his biggest fan. That fight and the explanation of what BJJ is and that move by my uncle made me want to go to Jiu Jitsu with him, shit that fight made me watch TUF 5 just to see his brother (who I'm also a big fan of). All the preliminary fights I missed out on I found online and watched shit I tried to find all his fights and interviews. When he got popped for weed after the Gomi fight I firmly position myself in the camp that that should be like 2 wins as opposed to the NC it stands at today. His next fight was kind of disappointing against Mike Aina but hey it was Nick Diaz it was entertainment and he still won, now his fight with KJ Noons was bullshit and I wont even speak about it. Did I cry a little bit, maybe but thats beside the point. I didnt catch the Inoue fight at the time but I've seen it he looked good and it started the streak of him looking like a world beater. Nobody is going to argue that he shouldnt have beat Muhsin Corbbrey and Thomas Denny so I'll skip those. Now the Frank Shamrock fight scared me just because of the name and my uncle talking shit but Nick handled his fucking business, as he did with Scott Smith and Marius on his was to becoming a world champion. I watched him beat Sakurai out of his prime, then I watched a great fight vs KJ Noons. That fight also brought us this interview http://youtu.be/2SVEjH6QOpM oh and this one http://youtu.be/ObKZDVIRjyg. I also realized (I was awkward at the time and had a state of depression) I'm similar to Nick so I became an even bigger fan if that was possible. But that first interview I linked I was thinking "yeah Nick could beat GSP he'd box him up on the feet and work sweeps and sub's off his back theres no safe zone for Georges". I just wanted to see Nick back in the UFC vs the best like a fan and I thought and still think he can beat anybody at 170.
The Cyborg fight was masterful and just shows how good Nick is, when he had Cyborg up against the cage and battered the body and as soon as Santos drops his hands and Nick clubs him with a right hook and manages to lean back and dodge Cyborg's haymaker is what I love so much about Nick's striking. The constant pressure never letting you breathe and the cardio machine he is, he's always out working you and it makes YOU tired. Fast forward to the Daley fight and after I calmed my massive boner thinking the UFC had acquired all of Strikeforce's talent. I was pumped I love Paul Daley and I wouldnt call him "Just another can/UFC reject" that Diaz has beaten he's much better and is still getting better. That was a round for the ages and showed another quality that I love so much about Nick is his heart and his sheer toughness he took BOMBS from Daley and to comeback and finish him with strikes in the 1st is a statement. Then I got the news I had wanted to hear for a year+ and that was Diaz vs St. Pierre........I still think it was bullshit Nick was pulled out and it was well documented what happened so I'm not going into details. http://youtu.be/a4EbRnFn0Tg But we got 2 of my favorite fighters of all time probably 1 and 2 in the eventual main event of UFC 137 (Why wasnt this 5 rounds). I was saying leading up I want a good fight I just want a good fight but as soon as Nick walked back to the corner after dropping the 1st I realized just how much I wanted him to win and he fucking delivered NOBODY NOBODY has ever put a beatdown on BJ like that on the feet or on the mat, and it wasn't frustration that made him retire (only to un-retire) in the cage like when Nick did it was the fact he didnt want to look like that anymore. Woah. Nick just beat BJ Penn into retirement.
Then he got the fucking GSP fight again, but it ended up being an interim title fight vs Condit which I didnt really like to be honest and I'll tell you why. First off I get kind of why Carlos got the shot but I mostly dont. To me it seems as if he got the swap at UFC 137 for being a Welterweight on the card I mean seriously The Dong gets you a title shot? Was the Dong even top 10 maybe 15 but not top 10. (Heres my Diaz fanboy-ness) Condit lost to Kampmann, robbed Ellenberger (I havent seen anybody say they think Condit won that fight) got a wack stoppage over a fairly green Rory in a fight he was losing. KO'd a guy who should have been cut last year, and beat the Dong. Hardly a murderes row beating BJ would have added some serious legitimacy to his streak. To me Condit's streak was on par with Diaz's. Nick's being longer and having a few gimme fights but Condits had some not to mention he pulled out of a couple tougher match-up. Like many other I took Nick's brothers performance vs Cerrone as a sign of what was to come at UFC 143 I'll just say: Diaz won the 1st, 2nd, and 5th. I managed to watch that "technical" fight 3 times and I still believe that sue me. I mean honestly I like Condit, but I didnt like that fight. That's not what I expect from Condit that's not what pumped me up about that fight and if Nick fought like that I would also be disappointed. It was wack, it was boring, it was lame. It was also smart but I'm not impressed by that style change scrapping a decision over Nick Diaz and I'm not excited for UFC 154's main event (Mostly because of GSP).
So now were here close to Nick Diaz's return and I'm excited I have been throughly enjoying some Nate Diaz in the meanwhile. I love their style and being who I used to be I can relate to their attitude and behavior to an extent. But to me the Diaz's really embody martial arts. The smaller, weaker, slower guy just being able to win. They aren't the best wrestlers like many believe you have to be for long-term success in MMA and they aren't the best boxers they really are not the best anything but the god damn intangibles they bring cant be matched and on the right night they can beat anyone in their weight class. Some people label them punks or brats but they are fighters, they don't get caught up in anything else they grew up fighting unlike a lot of these other guys and they always bring it and as MMA fan's inst that what we want at the end of the day? And they smoke weed and I fucking love me some Mary Jane.