Hobbie’s finally lost it. I know that’s what most of you are thinking after reading that title. Either that, or I’m a dozen puffs in to one of Nick Diaz’s pre-fight “supplement” cigarettes.
No, my mind is clear thank you very much. Well, I did sort of black out a tiny bit between my bowl of breakfast paint chips and my post-shower hit of crystal meth this morning, but that happens most mornings so…whatever. Oh, I also had half and half in my coffee because I was feeling crazy.
But back on topic: I hope your brain has a napkin or old gym sock handy to wipe up, because I’m about to blow your mothaf*ckin’ mind!
Here goes - Nick Diaz is MMA’s shrewdest businessman.
“Nick Diaz” and “businessman” in the same sentence!? Am I nuts? Aren’t I aware that the only time the word “businessman” ever came out of Nick’s mouth was when he said “Mind your own business, man!” to the commission doctor asking about the contents of his urine sample.
Before I can explain the genius of Nick Diaz, let me dispel you of a simple notion that is held sacred in the MMA world: acting like a complete tool is bad for your career. This theory goes that if a fighter doesn’t keep obligations, fails drug tests, engages in criminal behaviour, courts as much controversy as possible and generally acts as selfishly as possible, this results in damage to his career.
History – and MMA history especially – shows what hogwash this really is.
Let’s look at the most obvious example of this rule in action: Mr. Chael P. Sonnen. In just a short span of time, Sonnen:
-Lost the biggest fight of his career
-Failed his post-fight drug test
-Got indicted for mortgage fraud
-Was caught lying about the head of a major athletic commission
-Blamed his non-functioning manhood for his needing to take testosterone
-Got suspended and lost his title shot
See, none of this “bad behaviour” actually hurt Sonnen’s career. Oh sure, he lost his real estate liscense. And he got that 6 month suspension. With all that free time, Sonnen appeared on every sports talk show from here to Katmandu.
By acting like a total doofus, Sonnen only added to his “mystique”. No, I don’t mean Sonnen is some blue mutant chick with no genitals (would explain the hyopgonadism excuse, however). Just that every bad action, every racist comment and failed drug test and criminal conviction only added to his reputation as a “bad guy”.
See, us fans can claim to hate these “bad boy” antics but the truth is: we can’t get enough of them. It’s the reason Floyd Mayweather drew the biggest PPV buyrate of the year – right before he went to federal prison. It’s the reason Brock Lesnar was the biggest name in MMA post-UFC 100. It’s the reason Chael Sonnen has MMA’s version of “Piper’s Pit” on network television.
And Nick Diaz has figured this out. He’s not missing these events, failing these tests, and flipping these birds because he’s an unbalanced Stockton street kid with undisclosed mental issues, an army of yes men, and a medical marijuana card.
He’s doing it because he’s gaming the system on a whole other level.
Think about how many more people cared about the UFC 137 press conference because Nick Diaz wasn’t there. Think about how many more people wanted to see Nick’s next fight after the Nashville brawl/disaster. Think about all the news, accusations, recriminations, and general discussion Nick generated simply by not showing up to a charity grappling exhibition.
I swear, the ADCC’s, the Mundials and the NCAA division 1 freestyle wrestling championships combined didn’t get as much coverage on MMA blogs as Nick Diaz’s not being at a regional grappling event.
That’s thinking on a higher level.
For the price of not showing up, Nick Diaz – who is currently suspended, facing further punishment from the NSAC, and nowhere near a major world title – is the talk of the MMA world. Maybe he’s a “risk” for promoters. But he’s someone people are willing to pay to watch. And just when you think he’s out of the picture, he finds a way to get right back into the centre of it again.
Maybe it’s accidental genius – but it’s still genius nonetheless.
By Elton Hobson, who doesn’t really think Nick Diaz is a genius. He just likes writing about the strange phenomenon of MMA fans hating on the actions of fighters – whose same actions they seemingly can’t get enough of. He decided to skewer this behavior by…writing about the bad actions of a fighter he seemingly can’t get enough of.
Hey, I’m not above the system either.