Throwing in the towel during the course of a fight is a sticky subject. Some feel that if a fighter is clearly not going to be able to come back from the beating that they are in the midst of that their corner has an obligation to throw in the towel and end the fight early. Others feel that due to the nature of mixed martial arts there is always a small chance that a fighter can come back and end the fight through submission or knockout. UFC lightweight contender Nate Diaz falls into the former category.
Diaz was on the receiving end of an attempted towel throwing at UFC on Fox 7. During that fight, Thomson was pummeling Diaz with strikes on the ground when Nate's brother Nick threw a towel into the Octagon to stop the fight. The attempt was futile as referee Mike Beltran was focused on the action and did not see the towel hit the mat prior to waving the fight off.
After the fight, Diaz said that he had watched the replay of the Thomson fight, and agreed with his brother's attempt to stop the fight, "It didn't look good. It looked like it was time to throw in the towel, so I agree with it."
The loss to Thomson marked the first time Diaz had been TKO'd over 25 professional fights. He rebounded from that defeat by delivering a Knockout of the Night performance against Gray Maynard in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale.
With two minutes expired in the first round, Maynard missed a takedown and Diaz attacked. The 28-year-old from Stockton, CA unleashed a flurry of punches and knees that left Maynard badly hurt. At one point, Diaz threw his arms to the side as if to say to referee Yves Lavigne, "C'mon man, you gonna stop this or what?"
Lavigne allowed the fight to continue after Diaz's brief break and Diaz resumed his attack. When Lavigne did step in to stop the fight, Maynard took a few lurching steps and fell to his knees.
The final count of significant strikes had Diaz landing 33 to Maynard's five.
If Diaz had his way, the total number of strikes he landed would have been less than that number. In the January issue of Fight! Magazine, Diaz said, "I was actually thinking what the hell is wrong with this guy's corner and the ref for not stopping this fight because I was landing a lot of shots. I was kind of like ‘What the f---? Is this s--- going to end?'"
Diaz's feeling is that Maynard's corner should have done what his brother did during the Thomson fight, thrown in the towel, "If he had experienced fighters in his corner and his coaches...those guys in his corner that Javier...Is it Mendez? Ok, so he's in the corner and he's supposed to be some pro? Some badass? He knows everything? Well if you know everything how did you not know your friend was getting his ass beat and just let him take those shots, you know?"
Diaz stressed that a fighter's camp should know when their fighter is taking too many shots and has little to no chance to come back from the beating. Diaz said he feels that a corner not throwing in the towel under those circumstances is "pretty ignorant."
The TKO loss was Maynard's third stoppage defeat in his last four fights.
Diaz's thinking behind why corner's should be a little quicker on the draw with the towel seems based around the fact that the fighters are not pulling in a huge chunk of change for their efforts, "We aren't making millions of dollars. We're making pennies for this fighting stuff."
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