Nick Diaz is the type of fighter that polarizes fight fans into two camps: those who love him, and those who despise him. It’s easy to see how either camp could formulate their opinion. Those who love Diaz are no doubt drawn to his cocky swagger and gangsta, “us against them” mentality. Oh, and the fact that Diaz is a dominate force in the cage only adds to the intrigue. In dispatching of feared striker Paul Daley this past Saturday night, Diaz only further backed up his mean mug scowl and feared boxing skills.
Of course, there are those who find Diaz’s act too tough to swallow. They point to his “gangsta” image and “f*ck the world” approach to media and public relations. His detractors point to the fact that his image is so edgy that it has cost him contracts with the UFC and other big money endeavors and endorsements. Hell, even Dana White has chimed in stating that Diaz needs to learn how to “play the game.”
But, aside from all the ancillary complaints about Diaz, his random tangents in interviews, his penchant for smoking the weed, and his love of the “double-finger salute,” Diaz does one thing that constantly drive his haters crazy; he wins fights.
On Saturday night Diaz demonstrated why his reign as the Strikeforce welterweight champion should be lauded and appreciated for what it is; domination by a fighter with the heart of a warrior. Diaz is that rare warrior so in love with his skill set that he throws caution out the window when engaged in war with another fighter. While that may not be the most cerebral course of action against another man hell bent of ripping his head off, it none the less has proven successful for the Stockton, CA native. Paul Daley is a fighter capable of separating a man from his senses with one shot. Yet, despite his destructive power Diaz opted to stand and trade with the feared striker.
Diaz is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with a ground game that defies all logic. Conventional wisdom would state that you would use your skill set to offset the skill set of the other fighter. But when you’re Nick Diaz, conventional wisdom has no place in your psyche. Doing what most would have vehemently advised not to, Diaz opted to stand and trade shots with Daley. It was not without penitence as Daley dropped and rocked Diaz at least twice. But, Diaz is a champion for a reason and displayed his heart when faced with adversity and rallied back to unleash a barrage of hell upon the dome of Daley, stopping the Brit in one of the most exciting fights in modern history.
The performance was classic Diaz who continues to prove the naysayers wrong. After all, it’s hard to hate on a guy who gives you fights like that.