Nick Diaz: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Nick Diaz/ MMAWeekly.com
Part of Nick Diaz's ascension into the super stardom is his own self-destruction.
Diaz has always been regarded as one of the most purely talented fighters in the sport, mixing in brilliant blends of boxing with his jiu-jitsu skills, the Stockton fighter has been embroiled in some of the most controversial moments that any one fighter has had to endure.
However, despite all of his past transgressions, Diaz has managed to remain one of the most talked about fighters thanks to the unapologetic demeanor and his exciting style of fighting.
Here, we look at the good, the bad and the ugly of one of the most prominent figures in MMA.
Nick Diaz/ MMAWeekly.com
Lets start with the ugly and work our way into a frenzy before we feel good about Diaz again.
The Cesar Gracie protege has been in the midst of many moments that have drawn the ire of the fans and media alike; however, most notably would be his post-fight brawls inside the cage.
After rival KJ Noons successfully defended his EliteXC title against veteran Yves Edwards, Diaz was escorted inside the cage in order to set up an inevitable rematch between the two.
However, what ensued was an all out brawl between the opposing camps, resulting in a WWE-esque fiasco, where ironically enough color commentator Bill Goldberg was in the midst of the ensuing battle.
Some years past and Diaz eventually found himself under the Strikeforce banner with fellow Skrap Pack brethren Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields—who at the time had successfully defended his middleweight title against former Pride champion Dan Henderson.
Soon after, former foe Jason "Mayhem" Miller stormed the cage, demanding an immediate rematch in the moments after Shields' most illustrious win of his career.
Melendez, along with the Diaz brothers, did not take kindly to the intrusion and proceeded to give Miller an old-fashioned whooping, live on CBS no less.
UFC 137 marked Diaz's crowning achievement.
After a successful run in Strikeforce, Diaz was ushered back into the UFC and was immediately granted his shot at UFC champion Georges St-Pierre.
However, in typical Diaz fashion, the Californian opted to no-show several pre-fight press junkets.
UFC head honcho Dana White opted to pull Diaz from his title tilt with St-Pierre, instead replacing him with Carlos Condit.
Failed Drug Tests
It's no secret that Diaz is an avid supporter of everything marijuana, to which the video above serves as a great testament to.
However, his continued use of marijuana—for which he is medically licensed for in the state of California—has put the world-renowned fighter in hot water.
In his debut as a lightweight, Diaz took on Pride champion Takanori Gomi, then considered to be the consensus No.1 fighter in the world.
In a rousing performance, Diaz submitted the heavy-hitting "Fireball Kid" with a rarely seen gogoplata in the first round. Finally, Diaz gained world renowned recognition, though the celebration didn't last long, as the jiu-jitsu black belt had tested positive for THC metabolites and was subsequently fined and suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Years later, in a welterweight title tilt against Carlos Condit, Diaz was edged by the Greg Jackson product in a hotly debated bout which many believed that Diaz should have rightfully won after five rounds of action.
Soon after, UFC President Dana White attempted to pit the two fighters against each other once again for an anticipated rematch, however, Diaz again tested positive for marijuana and is currently serving a temporary suspension.
He currently awaits a hearing from the NSAC.
Strikeforce Debut: Frank Shamrock
Now, on to the good.
After the fall of the EliteXC, Diaz, along with a batch of other fighters, were picked up by budding MMA promotion in Strikeforce.
In his debut, Diaz took on former UFC champion Frank Shamrock in a catchweight affair.
Diaz was the decided underdog heading into the bout, though he quickly asserted his claim as one of the best fighters in the world, as he bludgeoned Shamrock with his crisp boxing skills, eventually wilting the tested veteran with body shots in the second round.
The victory helped put Diaz back on the map, becoming an overnight success and arguably Strikeforce's newest and biggest draw.
Strikeforce Title: Marius Zaromskis
After dispatching Shamrock and Scott Smith in catchweight battles, Diaz returned to the welterweight division where he took on Dream champion Marius Zaromskis.
Prior to his battle with Diaz, Zaromskis was fresh off of a welterweight Grand Prix under the Dream banner, where the Lithuanian earned knockout victories over UFC vets Hayato Sakurai and Jason High, which cinched him the promotion's 170-pound title.
In one of the most exciting battles of the year, Diaz and Zaromskis stood toe-to-toe, with both men getting the better of each other in spurts.
Just as it seemed as if Diaz was going to end Zaromskis' night, the "Whitemare" connected on a knee to the body and powerful overhand left, rocking and dropping Diaz to the canvas.
Soon after, the Californian worked his way back to his feet and continued to pour on the action. Zaromskis began to wilt under the mounting blows and was finally finished off by a counter left hook.
With the victory, Diaz claimed the promotion's vacant welterweight title, to which he would defend successfully a record three times against formidable opposition in KJ Noons, Evangelista Santos and Paul Daley.
UFC Return: BJ Penn
Diaz earned a bit of redemption with the UFC last October.
After St-Pierre was sidelined due to injury, a battle between Diaz and former world champion BJ Penn ensued, as the welterweight notables took main event honors for the pay-per-view event.
Though both men were noted friends leading into the bout, the tides quickly changed at the weigh-ins as both Penn and Diaz went head-to-head in a heated staredown.
The fiasco helped set the tone for their battle the night after. The Hawaiian edged Diaz in the first round based purely on superior positioning on the ground.
Diaz, a notoriously slow starter, found his groove soon after, as the relentless fighter proceeded to give Penn a thorough beating—courtesy of his brilliant array of strikes, digging hooks to the body and following up with straight punches to the dome.
In a "Fight of the Night" worthy battle, Diaz earned the decisive decision win, positioning himself as one of the upper echelon of the welterweight class.