Nick Diaz is regarded as one of the toughest and most durable fighters in MMA. He went toe-to-toe with Paul Daley and won. We've all seen Diaz's strategy many times before: plod forward and punch your opponent. A lot. So how could Diaz even be considered a coward? He's afraid of change. Everyone knows the Diaz boys had a tough upbringing. You hear all the time from Diaz fanboys, who claim GSP's lay and pray wouldn't fly in the 209. But Diaz is in much different financial shape than he was in his childhood. He's got more money than most people thought he was capable of. Yet he still lives in his old neighborhood, driving a beat up Honda. And while it is commendable that he sticks to his roots even when he could have left a long time ago, why does he continue to act like his world is in shambles?
He does it because in his eyes it is. In the ring, no one can touch Diaz's fearlessness. He will take everything you can dish out if it means he can land a good body shot. Chaos is the only life Diaz knows and he is perfectly content with that. But when there is no chaos to be found, he won't know what to do. A good example of this would be his fight with Carlos Condit. Fighters like Evangelista Santos and Paul Daley have fallen prey against Diaz's taunts, and did their best to prove they could knock Diaz out, playing right into his game. Not Condit, who fought a tactical and measured fight, using his superior footwork and diverse striking to take home a tightly contested unanimous decision victory. Many Diaz backers called shenanigans, claiming Condit didn't come to fight and ran away. But it takes two to tango.
During the fight Diaz repeatedly taunted Condit, imploring him to "quit running" and "fight me". He insulted him, complained to his corner and even his brother, Nate, hurled accusations of greasing, with water, no less, to the referee. Diaz did his best to goad Condit into the brawl he expected, except one thing; do something about it himself. Santos and Daley gave Diaz the chaos that he spent his whole life fighting, but Condit, for all the crap he was given for not giving Diaz what he wanted, did exactly what Diaz hates. He hates structure. Condit's disciplined strategy of moving away from Diaz's whirlwind of punches left Nick bewildered, as he was not seeing the violent disorder he knew since his birth. His only response was to keep swinging, while Condit was out of his range using his leg kicks to further annoy him. He left the arena that night in shock, both in disbelief of the much debated decision and the discovery of an opponent who wouldn't oblige his fetish for disorder.
That's not the only example. Last year the Stockton kid was in the best place in his career. He was scheduled for a big money fight against Georges St. Pierre for St. Pierre's Welterweight Championship. All he needed to do was to train and fulfill some media obligations. Sounds simple enough, right? A little too simple for Nicholas Robert Diaz. He started off by missing a press conference. Doesn't sound like much in the grand scheme of things, and Dana White decided to keep the fight against GSP, and simply told him to not miss the next press conference, which was to be held the next day. And surprise, surprise, Diaz no-showed again. Dana was pissed and held the press conference, sans Nick Diaz, anyway for the purpose of telling the MMA media that Diaz would not fight St. Pierre after all. This series of events was so crazy, Cesar Gracie, Diaz's trainer and longtime apologist, called White mid-conference to apologize for his protégé's transgressions, tell him he made the right call and to inform him that Diaz snuck out of the back door of Gracie's house during his child's birthday party. Diaz did not enjoy the great place he was currently in, so he did everything he could to piss off his boss, his opponent and his trainer. His greatest dream was pissed away in a missed flight.
Still not enough? What about Braulio Estima? Just a simple grappling match against a BJJ phenom. Not many expected him to win, but he would get a nice paycheck, one he admirably promised to donate to St. Jude Childen's hospital. He ended up no showing the entire event, claiming Estima missed weight the day before, even though he was only required to make weight the day of the competition. He then goes on YouTube and likes the videos of Estima calling him disrespectful for his absence. He left the entire stadium and people who paid for the event online pissed about not seeing the match they were promised and leaving a children's hospital hanging. Although Diaz did end up donating money to the hospital, he did his best to piss off everyone that was involved before doing so. This was supposed to be his redeeming moment: take on a grappling wizard and give the money to help sick children. Now it is just another chapter in Nick Diaz's fear of peace.
Nick Diaz spent his whole life in the eye of a hurricane. In the past, he had no way to get out. Now the path is clear: he must walk through the hurricane to escape. Yet every time he is close to the outside, he turns his back and goes back into the eye. He is afraid of life outside of the storm. So he spends his days in the center, looking at the chaos that surrounds him and wonders why every one is wants him to come out. And he sits quietly, finding peace in the turmoil that he surrounds himself with.