Nate Diaz: 3 Reasons He Will Wear UFC Gold Before His Brother
The Diaz brothers are two of the best fighters in the world in their respective divisions.
Nate Diaz is the current No. 1 contender for the UFC Lightweight Championship, and he will get his title shot against Benson Henderson in December.
His brother, Nick, is still on the sidelines from his positive drug test at UFC 143. Yet he remains one of the top contenders of the welterweight division.
Both men are at the top of their games and could claim a title in the very near future. Which will get to that holy grail first?
These are the three big reasons Nate will wear the UFC championship before his brother.
Nate Has a Title Shot
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
The biggest, and most obvious, reason that Nate will get to the title first is that he has an upcoming shot at the title.
Benson Henderson will defend the UFC Lightweight Championship against Diaz on Dec. 8 in Seattle, Wash. for UFC on Fox 5.
You have to start there when making the case that Nate will wear gold before Nick. It is hard to win a title when you are not fighting for one.
Nick had his chance to win the Interim Welterweight Championship earlier in 2012, but lost a close decision to Carlos Condit. Tack on the suspension, and Diaz will not see a title shot in his future until at least the summer of 2013.
When breaking down which sibling will have gold first, it is easier to side with the fighter who actually has a championship fight lined up.
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Another reason to side with Nate is because of Georges St-Pierre. GSP is the cream of the crop at 170 pounds, and he is a terrible stylistic matchup for Nick.
If Nick does earn a shot at the title in 2013, he will likely be opposite the most dominant welterweight champion in company history. GSP is supremely talented, and he does not give Nick the best chance to wear UFC gold.
What has been his kryptonite? Wrestling.
His jiu-jitsu is excellent, but he has never shown to be extremely threatening with it when a wrestler has top position against him. GSP's incredible control would neutralize Diaz.
On the feet, GSP and Nick are two of the best boxers in the division, but GSP's game plan would be to avoid exchanging blows with Diaz. He is one of the smartest fighters in the game today. He rarely puts himself in a compromising position.
Diaz has a shot to upset GSP, but it is a long shot.
He's the Better Fighter
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
They say iron sharpens iron. Nate Diaz has been sharpening his skills against the best the UFC has to offer for years. And it has paid off.
While Nick fought midlevel fighters in EliteXC and Strikeforce, Nate was competing against the elite under the UFC banner. It has accelerated his growth as a fighter and made him one of the best in the world.
Since 2010, Nate has only tasted defeat three times; a split-decision loss to Gray Maynard being his only lightweight blemish. The other two losses were at welterweight to Dong-Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald. He has only lost to top 10-level talent.
It has helped him develop better strategy inside the Octagon. Since dropping back down to lightweight in the fall of 2011, he has mowed through the competition.
Takanori Gomi was no match for him, he obliterated Donald Cerrone on the feet and he became the first man to stop Jim Miller.
Nick is an excellent fighter. That goes without saying. However, his little brother has blossomed in to a better all-around athlete by being forced to grow with the UFC's talent level.
Nate is a step above at this point, and he has the better chance to capture UFC glory.