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Nick Diaz: A Portrait of a Mixed Martial Artist as an Angry Young Man

Josh Gross, Executive Editor of Sherdog.com, has a piece up today that peers into the mind of a brilliant fighter with a tormented soul. That fighter is Nick Diaz. Of all the fighters in all weight classes in the sport of MMA, Diaz is arguably the best mix of talent and gameness. His devotion to the sport and success is unmistakable and the journey he takes fans on his path to victory is virtually without parallel. And what makes his gameness so unique is it's apparent no matter the opposition, no matter their strengths, no matter the terms of the fight. Notable quote:

"I do have a grudging respect for him for that, though," says Gracie. "He's never not taken a fight. He's never complained about a fight. No matter who he's fighting, he goes in there and goes for it."

A win over Diaz, whom Noons calls No. 1 in the world after defeating Gomi, would immediately vault the underdog fighter into the discussion of a division that holds a glacier-lake deep pool of talent.

Despite the high stakes Diaz was incredulous when asked to compare the relevance of this bout versus others during his career.

"All my fights are important," he barked.

"I was meant to fight. I wasn't meant to do s--- else, that's for sure."

Without getting sidetracked about the marijuana debate, some have also criticized Diaz for what is perceived as unsportsmanlike, juvenile antics. They see him as an untamed cry baby or an adolescent still hung up on teenage angst. But whether perceived or real, Diaz's feelings of oppression are borne from a life of absence. He is missing the components of life that calm the soul. So while he may fly the middle finger proudly and taunt opponents, what he wants more than anything is to be recognized for his achievements. He endures the crucible of fighting to make note of his worth. Fortunately for him, his enormous talent and unrelenting pursuit of the fight make that hard to ignore. Diaz's incredible and herculean efforts quite literally force you to like him. If not as a person, certainly as a fighter and competitor. At the end of the day, perhaps that's all he's looking for.