On UFC On Fox 5 Nate Diaz is getting his first shot at UFC gold. Since returning to the Lightweight division in September 2011, Nate has been absolutely destroying his competition. He's on a three fight win streak in the division with finishes over Takanori Gomi and Jim Miller. The only person to make it to the judge's scorecards, Donald Cerrone, certainly wasn't happy with how the fight went.
With a resume like that, Diaz should be supremely confident heading into the title fight against Ben Henderson. However, he explained to Inside MMA that he is concerned about going to decision:
I don't think I've got a chance of winning any type of decision, so...I gotta go out there and do what I can do to try and finish my opponent; try to be the better fighter and try to win the fight. But, umm, either way - If it goes to decision, I'm gonna to be the one out-scoring, out-pointing. I'm gonna do what I can.
He's not the only one wary about going to the judges either. Inside MMA also spoke to his coach and manager Cesar Gracie:
Unofrtunately, pretty much it is. You know, it's almost like in Nick's case, he figures he's fighting his opponent and he's fighting the judges. So he's gotta finish people. These guys fight like that anyways. They're gonna fight their hearts out for the team, for themselves, and for the fans. So that's not gonna change. And, end of the day, I think that's what we all respect so much about these guys. So yeah, unfortunately, you know, you gotta get those finishes. Or maybe win something so lopsided we get the decision. We saw that with B.J. Penn. I've never seen a close decision where the nod was given to the Diaz's. If it's close they're gonna lose. I don't know why. I think maybe the judges really don't care for them that much.
To the credit of Cesar and Nate, the Diaz brothers have both seen controversial decisions go against them. In 2010, Nate lost what was supposed to be a title eliminator to Gray Maynard via split decision and Nick's first UFC run was filled with close fights. But the idea that the judges are somehow out to get them reeks of paranoia.
UFC On Fox 5 is coming up on December 8. Diaz and Henderson will face off in the main event at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.