Nick Diaz: Top 5 MMA Finishes

One half of the most brotherly duo figures and characters in the MMA scene and elder brother to Nate Diaz, Nick Diaz was born in Stockton but grew up in Lodi, California.

He started his Pro MMA career in 2001 after his 18th birthday and has gone on to provide entertainment and transparency in and out of the Octagon. Nick Diaz is a former Strikeforce, WEC and IFC Welterweight Champion and a former UFC title contender.

Nick Diaz is often a misunderstood MMA athlete. He prefers to block out the limelight, and the attention and attraction fighting can bring and just wants to participate because he has a competitive nature.

Nick has always said he doesn’t like to fight but does it to make ends meet and because he would rather do this than to not have a job at all. “I never liked doing this. I don’t like not having a job, especially when I started Mixed Martial Arts, this was all I could do.” (Via an interview with Ariel Helwani)

This describes Nick as a person, because deep down he wouldn’t want to be involved in the fight game, but since his young age he grew up on the rough streets of Lodi, it’s all he’s known.

When Nick was young, his mother would send him to classes such as swimming, karate and aikido. From there, he would participate in wrestling tournaments and then became recognized by Renzo Gracie in PRIDE FC.

He started training in MMA under Steve Heath and then went to move over to Cesar Gracie’s camp.

In Nick’s personal life prior to his MMA debut, his girlfriend at the time had passed away to suicide and after her death, Nick would run to his girlfriend’s grave every day to tell her he’d be the fighter she wanted him to be.

The 39 year-old had started in IFCW where he made his debut fight at lightweight and in the following contest had become the IFC Welterweight Champion.

He had moved over to WEC in 2003 becoming the inaugural Welterweight Champion defeating Joe Hurley and then after a one off IFC Warriors event, began his first run in the UFC.

Nick Diaz had two runs in the UFC, the first beginning from 2003-2007 where he had then left to sign with Gracie Fighting Championships but that had fallen through due to poor ticket sales and the second run was from 2011-current which included a five-year suspension.

His Strikeforce career is where he arguably made his name as a performer having six fights and being successful in all six, two of which included winning and defending the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship.

Nick would go up against the likes of Frank Shamrock, Paul Dailey and others putting on classy performances and becoming a well-known name in the Welterweight division across organizations.

Nick Diaz’s second run in the UFC in 2011 brought attention and he returned to fight BJ Penn at UFC 137. Nick had admiration for BJ Penn because they had come from the same school and the same academy learning Jiu-Jitsu.

He mentioned it wasn’t a fight he would’ve picked himself but he needed to get what he felt was his since leaving Strikeforce and vacating the Welterweight belt, a UFC title shot.

Nick Diaz would have two runs as a challenger for the UFC Welterweight Championship. The first would come at UFC 143 on February 4th, 2012 fighting Carlos Condit for the Interim Championship determining George St Pierre’s next contender.

Condit defeated Nick Diaz via Unanimous Decision with people feeling it was a lot closer than expected and Diaz may have been robbed.

The second shot was a year later on March 16th, 2013 where the long term booking of GSP vs Nick Diaz was finally going to take place.

This UFC v Strikeforce bout was talked about for years and now we were finally about to witness the showdown. GSP outclassed Nick Diaz for five rounds winning a Unanimous Decision, just shutting Nick down completely.

Two years later, Nick had returned to make a Middleweight debut going up against the legendary Anderson Silva.

Silva defeated Nick Diaz via Unanimous Decision which was overturned after Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone. Nick Diaz also tested positive for marijuana, turning the result into a NC.

Nick Diaz has had a very eventful career, so let’s take a closer look at his talent and ability that elevated him to the top and, at a point in time, had him ranked among the top Welterweights in the world with a professional record currently of 26-10 with 2 NC’s. With all that said, let’s get into Nick Diaz’s Top 5 MMA Finishes!

5. Vs Robbie Lawler 1 – UFC 47 (Apr. 2, 2004)

A young Nick Diaz and a young Robbie Lawler made a recipe for an energetic and aggressive bout. Both were on the rise and wanted to leave their mark on each other and what better way than having the two fight!

As the fight starts you see Nick Diaz just taunting Robbie Lawler, getting into his head and really making him brawl with the Californian boxer.

The first real exchange happens at 1:54. You see Lawler throwing an inside right hand over the top which Diaz blocks and comes over with the right to the dome dropping Lawler for a brief moment.

At 3:14 left of the first round Nick starts throwing his hands up and talking crap to Lawler followed by what Nick Diaz would call ‘The Stockton Slap’ at the 3:05 mark.

The open hand slap put a smile on Lawler’s face before Nick would land a perfectly executed 1-2 that staggers Lawler. While rocked, he still tells Nick to come forward as both try to take each other’s head off.

Nick continues applying pressure on Robbie and fights in the pocket within striking and clinching distance. At 1:16 left of the first round, Robbie closes the gap on Nick once Nick slips against the cage. He tries to swarm him but Nick circles back to the center before using the last minute of the round to keep on walking Robbie down.

Lawler shows no moment of worry and continues to throw everytime Nick does to end round 1.

The start of Round 2 immediately sees Nick pressing Lawler to impose his game. Robbie lands within the first 15 seconds letting Nick know he isn’t going anywhere and will be right there to throw every single time.

Nick starts to mix in low leg kicks to keep Robbie away from striking and feints a takedown with 4:32 left of the round. Robbie lands a beautiful body shot at 3:52 similar to the combo he tried to land on Nick in round 1.

With the round having 3:36 on the clock remaining, Lawler lands a clean straight left on Nick while both scramble shots within distance of each other.

As Lawler pushes forward, not defensively minded with his hands down believing he can make something of the opportunity, Nick throws out a right hook straight to the face dropping Lawler face down to the canvas whilst referee Steve Mazzagatti intervenes to stop the contest.

Although Robbie thinks and says he’s ready to continue he was effectively left rolling around the mat and fell back towards the cage as a result of that punch. Nick Diaz won the bout via KO at 1:31 of Round 2.

4. Vs Jeremy Jackson 3 – UFC 44 (Sep. 26, 2003)

Making his UFC Octagon debut, Nick Diaz fights in a trilogy bout vs Jeremy Jackson.

With Jeremy Jackson being the stronger striker coming into the bout and Diaz being the Jiu Jitsu specialist, Diaz immediately tries to take Jackson down and gets him down within the first 30 seconds.

Nick shows nice control in half guard but a lack of concentration allows Jackson to return to the feet clinched against the cage.

Nick gets the trip again and maintains better control on Jackson from half guard throwing short shoulder strikes at 3:41 left of the round to produce offence on Jackson while plotting the next transition on the ground.

Nick gets a knee to the stomach and tries to attack Jackson with 3:10 left of the round but the idea leads to Jackson getting back on the feet.

Diaz is relentless with the takedown and keeps continuing and pursuing control everytime Jackson gets back to the feet. Nick starts to let his hands go and applies pressure throughout the round. Jackson does manage to get back up and sprawls Diaz’s final takedown of the round ending up in Nick’s guard on top by the completion of round 1.

The start of round 2 mirrors round 1. Diaz waits for Jackson to make a mistake and applies a takedown with bits of ground and pound through elbows and punches to add volume, imposing his will on Jackson. With 3:20 left of round 2, Nick transitions from side control to Jackson’s back.

He almost loses the position but gains composure and tries to get both hooks in to maintain better control and work towards a submission. As he tries to turn Jackson over, Jackson gains wrist control and rolls Diaz resulting in Jackson on top in Diaz’s guard.

The remainder of the round ends with Jackson in guard trying to produce ground and pound but not landing cleanly as Diaz attempts submissions but nothing doing.

In Round 3, Jeremy closes the distance on Nick backing him up to the cage whilst trying to find a gap to capitalize on. Nick lands a right hook followed by a takedown shot and gets him down within 20 seconds of the round.

Jeremy does get up but Nick eventually brings him back down. Nick maintains a better side control at 3:50 left of the round however Jeremy gets to his feet, but as he does, Nick locks in a guillotine attempt that Jeremy avoids.

Jeremy is in Nick’s guard but instinctively Nick throws up the legs and finds a sensational armbar by controlling Jeremy’s right hand, finding the moment to wrap the legs and extend the hips forcing a tap.

Nick Diaz wins the contest via Submission (armbar) at 2:04 into Round 3.

3. Vs. Paul Daley – Strikeforce (Apr. 9, 2011)

Some would call the first round of this bout the best first round ever in MMA but this was definitely the best first round in 2011.

Here it was Nick Diaz vs Paul Daley for the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship and both men had nothing but hurt business on their mind.

The fight opens and Diaz just starts talking, getting in Daley’s head as Diaz does. Both men exchange early with Daley all over Diaz keeping him near the cage where he can’t enforce any of his game.

In the early minutes of the fight, Diaz comes forward and mixes up the strikes to the body, working into the clinch, just applying volume in an attempt to slow Daley down, hurting Daley with his shot.

The exchanges end up with Daley in Diaz’s guard but Daley sophisticatedly tries to bring the fight back to the feet to avoid Diaz’s ground game but Diaz relentlessly aims at the takedown.

Diaz shows his cardio and doesn’t stop walking Daley down with both men continuing to land on each other.

In a clinch, Diaz works elbows into his striking and Daley lands a knee. Both competitors continuously show their heart and toughness to walk through each other’s shots.

As Diaz pressures Daley against the cage now, Daley lands a left hook which drops Diaz which puts Daley in back control, landing shots.

Diaz did enough to move around and prevent a stoppage from occurring but Daley could not stop the onslaught.

Racing towards the end of the fight, Diaz tries to lure Daley in while Daley kicks from the outside just scoring points on the board.

Diaz gets back to the feet and lands backing Daley on the cage. Diaz continues with the strikes resulting in Daley falling to the ground and finishes the fight via TKO at 4:57 of Round 1.

2. Vs. Marius Zaromskis – Strikeforce: Miami (Jan. 30, 2010)

For the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight title, Nick Diaz took on Marius Zaromskis.

The bout started at high speed with Zaromskis coming out to Diaz and both men interchanging strikes instantly. Nick Diaz found his distance early and knew exactly where he could hit Zaromskis but Zaromskis couldn’t hit him.

After a brief interaction in the clinch, Zaromskis hits Diaz with a knee and a left-right combo which drops Diaz with 2:36 left of the round. Diaz shows great recovery, gets back up to his feet and you can see the output start to drain Zaromskis’ gas tank as his efforts tend to come slower than earlier in the round.

Diaz walks Zaromskis down and in the process of strikes, lands a precise uppercut resulting in a thunderous sound with 52 seconds left on the clock before mixing it up with strikes to the body showcasing his quality boxing skills.

Zaromskis, barely standing, walks into Diaz, whereupon Diaz drops a quality right hook that lands flush to end the championship fight with an outstanding performance through adversity.

Nick Diaz wins the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship at 4:38 of Round 1 via TKO.

1. Vs. Takanori Gomi – PRIDE 33 (Feb. 24, 2007)

One of the best submissions we ever saw in MMA, was when Nick Diaz made his PRIDE debut producing high quality Jiu Jitsu vs current Lightweight Champion, Takanori Gomi.

In round 1, Gomi goes straight for a takedown and scrambles with Diaz whereupon Diaz tries to pull for a Kimura/Armbar. Gomi gets position and maintains guard in this explosive and fast-paced bout.

Gomi implements some action within Diaz’s guard but eventually lets Diaz up with 3:08 of the round left.

Diaz finds his jabbing distance and starts to let his hands and volume work by breaking Gomi down but Gomi counters at 2:55 left of the round and drops Diaz.

Gomi tries to finish the fight but ends up in Nick’s guard realizing that due to the success on the feet, it would be wise to let Diaz back up again. Both men start again on the feet and are just exchanging in close range and landing blow for blow.

In the last minute of the round Gomi looks worn out. You can visually see Gomi had given it his all in trying to finish Diaz earlier but Diaz, his intense cardio and powerful liver (stamina) are ever present always in the bout and for the long haul.

Gomi’s hands begin to droop down and he slowly deteriorates while Diaz taunts and continues to land on Gomi. Diaz produces phone booth boxing and does not stop the strikes and volume on Gomi. The round ends with Gomi merely surviving the round.

In round 2, both men try to continue the intensity but you can see Nick’s workrate and conditioning is prepared to give his body more than Gomi does right now.

Gomi goes for a takedown with 3:27 left of the round whilst Jiu Jitsu specialist Diaz quickly shows his flexibility and dexterity, wrapping his left shin under Gomi’s neck and his right calf over it producing the Gogoplata which results in the tap and altogether one of the best submissions in MMA history!

Nick Diaz wins the bout via submission (Gogoplata) at 1:45 of Round 2.

So there we have it folks, 5 of Nick Diaz’s best MMA finishes!

What are your thoughts on Nick Diaz as a fighter and his career as a whole? What enduring influence do you feel he has left on the MMA world? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

WHICH PART OF YOUR ANATOMY HAVE YOU TRAINED into a COMBAT ASSET? Pin it down in the KINGDOM of FU, with our Top 5 MMA series, including exclusive interviews with elite fighters such as Anderson Silva, Cung Le, WWE’s Rob Van Dam, AEW’s Tay Conti; and ONE Championship fighters Aung La, and Tang Kai. Don’t forget to pin down some KFK gear, and subscribe for more wrestle-fu on YouTube!

Watching Tito Ortiz vs Ken Shamrock on VCR at UFC 40 is what made Rohail realize what MMA was. He was a big wrestling fan at the time too so the pyros and entrances mirrored both forms of entertainment. He has seen many eras of the UFC and many evolutions of the areas within the sport and the fighters themselves. Rohail possess a deep love for the sport and the journeys some fighters take to either make it onto the MMA scene or even better, become a World Champion!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kung-fu Kingdom