UFC 137: Nick Diaz Talks About Fighitng Idol BJ Penn, Still Burns To Fight GSP

Darren WongSenior Analyst IOctober 27, 2011

I must admit a bit prejudiced when it comes to Nick Diaz.

When I used to watch Diaz interviews, I couldn't help but see him as anything but a punk kid from Stockton representing the 209.

I just couldn't get images of him from his Robbie Lawler fight, yelling "Stockton, mother(expletive)!" out of my head.

But sometimes a fighter is worth more than just a first impression, and I think that most certainly applies to Diaz.

A far more subdued than usual Diaz showed up to the open workouts this Wednesday, but before I get to analyzing the interview, I'd like to point out one thing.

Diaz will probably never make a whole lot of sense in interviews, but the reason for that isn't widely appreciated. Although some people think it's because he's "authentic" or whatever, I think the reason is more complicated.

I don't know if it's his attention deficit disorder, the cannabis he takes for his ADD or something else, but Diaz often doesn't properly understand the questions being asked and his mind wanders so much that his words come out like a stream of consciousness, lacking any organization of cohesive theme.

His thoughts are so disordered that he occasionally contradicts himself mid-sentence, like when he once stated that he was paid too much but not enough.

In this particular interview, Diaz touched upon many of the themes in his life, his attitude on fighting, and his future in the sport of MMA. Some of it may need translation.


On BJ Penn

Diaz made no attempts to hide the fact that he's pretty uneasy about the prospect of facing one of his idols, BJ Penn, who he greatly admires and respects unlike any opponent he's fought before.  He also feels like Penn belongs in the same lineage as himself.

Diaz said that he didn't want to fight Penn, but was talked into it by his team and Dana White. He said that he wouldn't have signed for the fight if Penn hadn't signed first.

Diaz even went so far as to say that his admiration and friendship with Penn may affect the way he fights saying, "It's more of a sporting competition this time around."


On His Team

Even though he's on the verge of starring in the main event, Diaz still managed to find time to praise his team, his training partner and his brother, all of whom "mean the world" to him.



Although the fight with Penn looms closer, Diaz's mentions of St-Pierre show that the champ is still on Diaz's mind. In short, Diaz wants GSP money.


On His Future in Fighting

Although at one point Diaz stated that this could be his last fight and that he doesn't need fighting, those words contradicted a statement earlier in the interview where he said that he doesn't have enough money and therefore couldn't quit MMA even if he wanted to do so.

MMA is a weird trap for Diaz because although he enjoys fighting, the fact that it's become his job takes the fun out of it. And the fact that fighting is the only thing he knows how to do makes MMA inescapable.