UFC on Fox 3

Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller: Should Nate Diaz Wait for a Title Shot?

Nate Diaz - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Nate Diaz - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IMay 6, 2012

Nate Diaz no longer lives in the wide-cast shadow of his brother Nick.

At UFC on Fox 3, the young Diaz brother became the No. 1 lightweight contender after submitting Jim Miller at 4:09 of the second round.

UFC President Dana White has already set the wheels in motion for Diaz to challenge the winner of the Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar rematch.

Is Diaz ready to compete against the upper-echelon sharks of the lightweight division, or should he wait things out and take a couple of more fights to be sure?

It's always great for a young fighter like Diaz to keep taking fights to facilitate growth and all-around improvement, but the unpredictable nature of the sport could force his hand.

Fighters aren't offered UFC title shots every day. Jon Fitch had to pile up eight straight wins before he was finally given an opportunity to challenge Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title. Miller was on a seven-fight win streak and still seeking a title shot before losing to Henderson in in August 2011.

Diaz happens to be in the right place at the right time. He is currently riding a three-fight win streak, and his last name is Diaz, a name that has become synonymous with entertainment and controversy.

At 27 years old, Diaz already has a ton of experience in competing on the big stage under the bright lights of the UFC.

The concern for Diaz predominantly stems from his subpar wrestling.

He was dominant in shutting down all of Miller's takedown attempts, but Miller has never truly been considered a world class wrestler. His world class grappling skills are credited more to his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu abilities.

Diaz has been donkey-konged on in the past by strong wrestlers in Gray Maynard, Rory MacDonald, Dong-Hyun Kim, Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson. How do we know he's made the necessary improvements to shrug off takedowns from Henderson and Edgar?

The simple answer to this question is that we don't.

Still, a shot at a UFC title is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It's better to cash in now and not risk losing somewhere down the road in a non-title bout.

Diaz needs to live in the moment and avoid any what ifs. This opportunity may never come around again.

 

Looking for some more MMA news, and perhaps a couple of laughs? Follow me on Twitter @JordyMcElroy.

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