Eddie Bravo: Nick Diaz Will Go Down as One of the Greatest MMA Fighters Ever

Todd Jackson@tjaxmmaSenior Analyst INovember 7, 2011

There are many sources of wisdom throughout the MMA community which can explain to the fans exactly who and what it is that they are seeing. The fans in MMA are extremely knowledgeable, yet at times to hear a true master qualify certain opinions reassures them that what they believe is indeed as they see it.

There are a lot of MMA enthusiasts, both fans and critics of Nick Diaz who are left wondering just exactly what to expect from this destroyer who has found his way home to the UFC. In his first fight back, Diaz did something that no other fighter on the planet has ever done before: He absolutely decimated B.J. Penn.

Even in stopping Penn almost three years ago, Georges St. Pierre did not punish him like Nick Diaz did this past weekend. Many thought Diaz vs Penn would be a scrap, but few truly believed it would be such a one-sided affair.

What Diaz did to Penn has been par for the course across his last 12 fights. The 13th was a doctor stoppage due to a cut. The man has been scrapping and scrapping hard for four years without losing a fight.

People point to strength of schedule as the clear asterisk lying next to the run Nick Diaz has been on. They will tell you he hasn't beat a sound top 10 welterweight across that run he has so decisively thrown down.

Well, that all changed at UFC 137. B.J. Penn is clearly not the fighter he once was, but to say he is not one of the most dangerous welterweights in the world is ridiculous. Jon Fitch is considered one of the best, and B.J. recently fought him to to a draw, and UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes can tell you all about the dynamite in Penn's hands.

Nick Diaz tuned B.J. Penn up; there are no two ways about it. So all that talk about lesser opponents is for the birds now. And the stakes are only raised now that he has called out UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and been granted yet another opportunity by Dana White to face GSP.

So it is understandable why Nick Diaz is the talk of the town right now. He barged back into the UFC, retired a legend and called out a champion. All the while leaving that sliver of fear in the spine of anyone who considers GSP the unstoppable force his reputation says he is.

So with all that in mind, leave it to an MMA legend to slide in and share his take to clarify just how effective and truly dangerous Nick Diaz is. Allow a guy who has made MMA, and Jiu Jitsu in relation to MMA, his life's work to shed some light on the subject.

For those who still aren't clear on what exactly it was they saw last weekend, or what they can expect moving forward from Nick Diaz, please allow Mr. Eddie Bravo to clarify the situation for you. Bravo recently opened up to Todd Jackson of Hurtsbad MMA on a number of topics, of course Diaz being one of the top issues they discussed.

Bravo lit up when he began to share his opinions on the former Strikeforce welterweight champ, and now current UFC No. 1 welterweight contender, all due respect to Carlos Condit, of course.

Bravo sounded genuinely convinced in his conviction about Diaz, and explained exactly why he sees him as one of the best fighters this sport will ever see.

Bravo told Hurtsbad MMA, "I have never seen anybody, and I don't think there has ever been anybody like Nick Diaz in all of MMA. Can you tell me another guy who is going to stand right in front of you, take big shots, and still keep coming at you with those body shots and those amazing combinations? I have never seen anybody else do it like that; who else does it like that?"

To answer the question, in this day and age of MMA, nobody. Even in the glory days when guys just banged, it was a rarity. Diaz is a finger print in his approach without a doubt.

The 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu mastermind went on to say, "You see little flurries every now and then like that. But Nick Diaz does that all the time. He just goes in there and goes right through people. He just keeps getting better and better."

Diaz has always carried a unique style of striking to compliment his world class ground game. The style resembles a crane with its wings outstretched, only this crane has steel balls at the end of its wings and jams them in the face of its opponents. At first glance, feathers don't hurt, but they damn sure add up.

Eddie explained it like this. "Those little pitter pat shots, they used to be really weak back in the day. But he has added a lot of power to those little pitter pat shots. He picks his shots. He sets you up with those little shots, and boom. He has got some big power now."

Nowhere was that more apparent than his performance against legendary striker B.J. Penn last weekend, which again, caught a lot of fight fans off guard, Eddie Bravo included, and it left an impression for him to make a bold statement.

He told Todd Jackson, "I have never seen anyone do that to B.J. Penn. I don't think anybody can stand with Nick Diaz, not anymore. I think over the last couple years Nick Diaz has taken his striking to some serious levels. I think anybody that is going to stand with Nick Diaz and try to throw down, that is a big mistake."

When Bravo looks at the entire package of Diaz, his striking is the key, but the combination of Diaz the ground specialist and Diaz the striker brings Bravo to a very simple yet strong conclusion about Diaz's place in MMA history.

He explained, "He has got tremendous cardio; he can just keep going with those flurries. He doesn't get tired, he just keeps throwing them. Nick Diaz is going to go down as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, no doubt."

Bravo added one final qualifying explanation as to why he feels that way. "You can't create that. You can't create Nick Diaz. That guy has some serious warrior spirit or something. In another life, that guy was f#@$%&g Genghis Khan or something."

When a legend like Eddie Bravo puts it like that, honestly, fight fans, how can you argue with a statement like that?

This article originally featured at Hurtsbad MMA.  To hear this interview in its entirety visit The Truth Hurts Radio Show.  Follow me on Twitter @hurtsbadmma.


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