For two bad brothers who glorify the #ScrapLife, Nate and Nick Diaz take a lot of time off of fighting. But when they do come back for a bout, their PPVs absolutely kill. They're like the Usher of the fight game — sure they'll be off doing their own thing for a few years, but when they return, they're back with a vengeance, unlike some pro fighters.
The big question on everyone's minds after Nate teased (then rescinded) retirement is:
Why did Nick Diaz stop fighting?
The Diaz brothers are an interesting duo that embody a #NoBS, "real fighter's" attitude. They're professional stoners from Stockton, Calif. who came up hard and are never looking for an easy way out in a fight. Their styles made them fan favorites: they'd much rather stand and throw hands with their opponents and implement a deceptively effective, volume punching, slap boxing style of languid strikes that catch martial artists off guard.
Couple that with rock solid chins (you can count the number of TKO stoppages the pair's had on one hand combined) and cardio for days (they consistently compete in triathlons and get better as their fights go on) and they're a threat to any fighter they go toe-to-toe with in the cage. It also helps that they've got these very brash, eff-the-world personalities that endears them to fans.
Due to their willingness to stand and trade, it's easy to forget that the Diaz brothers are top jiu-jitsu aces, so if you do try to wrestle them to the ground after you're tired of them mixing up light slaps with some harder punches and befuddling you on the feet, they've got a very tight submission game. But Olympic-level wrestlers they are not — most of their losses come from people ragdolling and out-pointing them.
Despite the fact that they're professional tough-guys, the Diaz brothers are both pretty great with fans and extremely polite — I'll never forget meeting up with them in Toronto during Georges St. Pierre's title fight against Jake Shields — they were more than generous with their time and were stoked to talk with my friend and I about Bruce Lee for Round 5 figures, which was a big deal back then, especially getting Nick Diaz on camera.
The elder Diaz brother isn't really known for being polite to the media — he's known for playing around with nunchucks during conference calls and altogether bowing out of pre-fight press engagements, like the lead-up to UFC 137 when he was slated to fight GSP.
Nick was one of the original names that helped launch the UFC into the stratosphere, but after dropping three straight in the organization, he left to get a win in another promotion, then returned to back-to-back victories in the UFC.
That's when he managed to rattle off a series of impressive Ws in a variety of other promotions — most of them finishes, which helped to build his legend. He enjoyed a ton of success in Strikeforce and looked near unbeatable, so by the time he came back to the UFC again to square up against BJ Penn (whose own career was on a downward spiral) demand for the slugger was sky -high.
Diaz won a decision against Penn, which prompted his interim title fight against Carlos Condit.
Despite losing a decision against Condit (who then lost to GSP), Nick was next in line for a shot at Georges for the Welterweight title. "Rush" managed to secure the victory against Diaz, mostly due to a relentless pace, excellent wrestling, and ground and pound. There were moments in the bout that looked like Nick was going to finish it after tagging the Canadian legend several times. In typical Diaz fashion, however, he didn't take the loss all that well.
Nick didn't appear to be in any hurry to fight, until the UFC offered a middleweight bout against Anderson Silva, which resulted in a draw. Not bad considering Diaz was punching above his weight.
Nick Diaz suspended:
Well, his fight against "The Spider" was initially ruled as a draw, but then was changed to a no contest. Remember when I called the Diaz brothers stoners? Well, it turned out Nick had marijuana metabolites in his system. Whoops.