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Sunday, Oct 21, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Leading into UFC on FOX 5, Nick Diaz Can Learn A Lot From Younger Brother Nate

MMA bad boy Nick Diaz (pictured)

By Joshua Molina

Nick Diaz gets most of the attention, but his little brother Nate has emerged as one of the best lightweight fighters in the world.

Nate isn’t as outspoken or unpredictable as his brother, but he’s probably just as talented inside the cage. And he’s almost definitely a lot smarter outside of it.

On Dec. 8 on UFC on Fox 5, Diaz will face his biggest challenge when he fights Benson Henderson for the UFC lightweight championship.

It will be a fast-paced war. Diaz has never been knocked out, and he wins most of his fights by submission. Henderson has fantastic submission defense, and wins most of his fights by
submission and decision.

Neither fighter has great knockout power, so expect a submission victory, or most likely, a decision victory for one of these guys.

At a time when the UFC is taking a lot of criticism for booking bad matchups and creating uncompetitive fights, the Henderson-Diaz fight is gold. It’s as good as they come.

These are two warriors in their primes slugging it out on national television.

This fight on free TV could be reminescent of the old network boxing fights on CBS or ABC’s Wide World of Sports. In the 1980s, fights like Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini vs. Arturo Frias and Alexis Arguello vs. Bobby Chacon thrilled fans on on free TV.

These were young guys fighting their hearts out. Millions of people watched those fights to see the fighters (not the WBA, by the way, the company whose title Frias had when he entered the ring against Mancini).

Diaz is a fan’s fighter. He comes forward, has a good chin, and talks a little bit of trash. Henderson isn’t as exciting to watch as Diaz, but it’s clear that he’s the best lightweight in the world, and his speed is fairly difficult to overcome.

Who’s going to win? Henderson should win, simply because speed usually wins in the lighter divisions. But Diaz has something that a lot of people, even fighters, don’t have. He’s got guts of steel and heart of a lion. Like his brother, Diaz grew up poor on the streets of Stockton, California.

He is a survivor, and when the chips are down, inside or outside of the cage, you can count on Diaz to be one of the last men standing. He also has something that even his tough brother lacks. He has an ability to focus and get the job done.

Nick Diaz, for example, has blown multiple opportunities. When he finally had his big moment against Georges St. Pierre, he blew it, by blowing off media appearances. In his big opportunity to be the UFC welterweight champion, he blew it, by getting frustrated and fighting Carlos Condit’s fight, instead of his own, losing by a narrow decision.

Nick Diaz doesn’t seem to have that problem. He could pull of an upset if he fights smart and seizes opportunities.

Whatever happens, fight fans win when fighters like these fight in their primes, on free TV, with no shameless-gimmicky-false-rocky-story being used to promote the fight.

And maybe Nick Diaz, when he returns from his drug suspension, can learn something from his younger brother, the kid he helped shape into the fighter he is today.

Sometimes, you just have to shut up and fight. Nate Diaz will do that on Dec. 8.

posted by JoshuaM @ 4:05 pm
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