MMA Analysis: Nick Diaz is a Different Kind of Champion

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Nick Diaz, is one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the world.  He’s a fighter with audacity, passion and determination inside the cage.  However outside of it, he’s truculent, suspicious and seemingly depressed.  Never at a loss for words inside the cage, outside of it he has appeared introverted, taking the “Me against the world” mantra to a whole new level.  Nick Diaz is a reluctant champion.

Jimmy Lennon bellows “Your winner, and still Welterweight Champion of the World, Nick Diaz!”  The words haven’t been in the air long enough to finish echoing throughout San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center and Nick Diaz’ temperament is changing.  He’s dispatched another would be challenger to his crown and now comes the part of the job he appears to like least.  Nick Diaz has to talk to people, field questions, interact.  He scowls as he chooses a few short words for his dropped adversary.  He flashes a menacing glance at Paul Daley, now sitting on a stool he was helped onto, finding himself on the business end of a Diaz insult. 


Nick Diaz should be on top of the world.  The Strikeforce Welterweight Champion just defeated Paul Daley, the one man believed to be too dangerous standing for Nick Diaz.  He just out punched the puncher, finished the finisher and already Nick’s getting grumpy.  His family is around him.  His Cesar Gracie family consisting of Jake Shields, Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, and his brother Nate Diaz all celebrating the victory.

That said, in an interview done with Ariel Helwani he said he felt he was about to be suspended for actions he wasn’t sure of.  He seemed paranoid, looking over his shoulder, irritated and perplexed. He said he is pushed to fight too often, his fights are not fair and that people are out to get him.  It seemed almost surreal to see a fighter who had just won the biggest fight of his career, so distraught, so down and so angry about fighting.  The video can be seen at here courtesy of MMA Fighting.

Strikeforce’s Scott Coker stated that he’ll be giving Diaz some time off to go build his dream home.  For Diaz it seems like a much-needed break.  The only time Diaz looks happy is when he talks about what seems to be his real passion, competing in triathlons.  Nick Diaz is an enigmatic personality, someone who draws your interest and feigns it simultaneously.  He might very well be among the pound for pound top five in the world, competing in a sport that he has at least some noticeable disdain for.

One thing is certain as it pertains to Nick Diaz; he’s going to be very tough to beat.  He has distinctive standup, a granite chin, marvelous submissions, consummate swagger and attitude for days. He dares you to try to attack him and then smugly beats you for trying.   He’s a salty guy, and he is a champion.  He knows what he’s good at and he knows what he’s great at.  You can’t beat Nick Diaz, and Nick knows this.  However, he’s still not happy about the machine that is MMA.  Fighting, you bet, he’s all in.  Interviews, conference calls, post-fight chit-chat, not his thing.  He’s being pulled in multiple directions.  There’s his love of fighting and his seething hatred of the fight business.

Sometimes watching Nick is like watching the once proud lions in a circus.  They are caged, hopeless and always on edge, but they never cease to put on their show.  It’s quite a dichotomy that the only time Nick feels free is when they shut the cage door behind him and leave him alone to do what he does best,  Fight!

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