Nate Diaz is a true UFC superstar. With his popularity having exploded in the eyes of the general public during his fights against Conor McGregor, little brother Diaz has been known to aficionados for much longer.
His boxing, style, attitude and submissions led him to first stand out during the reality TV show ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ (TUF) organized by the UFC in 2007. Winning the show’s tournament, Nate has since then been connected with the organization.
A highly unique fighter, he grew up in Stockton, California, far from being a quiet US city. Nate Diaz started his martial arts training at age 11 with his big brother, Nick Diaz, so fighting seems quite the family affair. He trained under Cesar Gracie in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in which he has a 2nd degree black belt and trained under Richard Perez in boxing.
If with Diaz, the UFC had the assurance of a man who would rock up to the cage for an appointed fight, outside the cage it was much more complex. Like his brother, Nate has an unmanageable side that is as magnetic for fans as it is unbearable for his employer.
Nate Diaz’s public appearances are rare, remarkable and often surprising. In short, the man fascinates the public in equal measure as does the fighter. Indeed, in the cage, Nate (like his brother), brings real psyche out matches to the table. Between insults and slaps, the opponents come to the Diaz party whilst the more obvious martial values appear to get put away for a time in the proverbial closet. That said, let’s take a look at his 5 best MMA finishes (in descending order)!
- Vs. Takanori Gomi — UFC 135 (Sept. 24, 2011)
- Vs. Marcus Davis — UFC 118 (Aug. 28, 2010)
- Vs. Gray Maynard 3 — TUF 18 Finale (Nov. 30, 2013)
- Vs. Kurt Pellegrino — UFC Fight Night: 13 (Apr. 2, 2008)
- Vs. Conor McGregor 1 — UFC 196 (Mar. 5, 2016)
Diaz was able to outclass Gomi in all areas, picking him apart on his feet. Gomi is a legend in the Lightweight division and one of the most respected fighters in MMA history, but Diaz was able to make him look almost amateurish. In particular, Gomi is considered to be a dangerous striker, but again Diaz was able to land punches at will throughout the first round, taunting Gomi at certain points.
When Gomi went for a takedown it almost looked like Diaz let him have it before he instantly slapped on a triangle choke (when the fight hit the ground) for the win.
Both fighters came out and immediately began swinging and testing each other early on, with Davis getting the better of the exchange as he dropped Diaz. As both fighters made their way back to their feet, they continued to stand and trade blows with each other. While Diaz was more effective with his long reach, Davis was landing the harder shots.
As the fight wore on, Diaz’s accuracy was improving with every shot he threw, and Davis’ right eye was a mess which was clearly affecting his performance. Davis, as the smaller fighter, definitely had a tough time getting inside of Diaz and landing effective shots as Diaz started to pick him apart with both accuracy and distance.
Once the third round began, Davis was clearly tired and continued to take more punishment around his right eye, which is when Diaz began mixing up his strikes. Diaz then scored with a takedown, maintaining a good hold on Davis – working from half-guard and positioning himself well enough to set up a guillotine putting Davis to sleep in the third round. The fight earned Diaz a Fight of The Night bonus.
Diaz put an emphatic stamp on a largely listless Ultimate Fighter event finale, finishing Maynard with multiple strikes in the main event. It was a severe beating, one that referee Yves Lavigne botched badly by allowing Maynard to take far too much punishment.
Maynard was essentially out on his feet, remaining standing only by the force of Diaz’s punches pushing him back against the cage.
Nate Diaz proved himself in the art of submission on April 2nd, 2008 at UFC Fight Night against Kurt Pellegrino.
Diaz gained the upper hand over his opponent with an impressive snap caught in the air. Pressing his body and using his considerable skills, the Californian placed a triangle constriction leaving no chance for Pellegrino.
During the first round, Mystic Mac found his target and dominated. However, unlike the Featherweight fighters, Diaz did not fall. Stockton’s child even scored a takedown.
During the second round, the Notorious one was tiring, mainly due to unsuccessful spinning back kicks. In terms of boxing, Nate Diaz, (who trains with Andre Ward), took the upper hand. The Irishman then attempted a desperate takedown against an expert in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Obviously, it ended badly for the Notorious, defeated by rear-naked choke.
Right after his victory, Diaz released a, ahem, punchline that had already entered the fight lexicon of legend, “I’m not surprised mother******!”