|Peep the 420 cleaner in the back.|
Nick Diaz is an interesting commodity in the world of mixed martial arts. Since leaving the UFC in 2006, he's won fifteen out of his last sixteen fights. The only blemish coming at the hands of KJ Noons via cuts, which was later avenged by Diaz in a swashbuckling defense of his welterweight crown. Like any other successful fighter outside of the UFC, he has gained some notoriety and sparked discussion amongst MMA's roundtable of fairweather fans. The opinions concerning Diaz are a mixed bag, and it relies solely on who you ask. As we all know, there are a few different kind of MMA fans-- you've got your "Zuffa Zombies," your J-MMA die-hards, the anti-UFC player haters club, and lastly fans of the "I am legend" level of rarity; those appreciative of all things MMA.
|Diaz finishing Cyborg.|
“Well, [Diaz] is the best guy in the world and he wants to face someone who’s obviously, clearly perceived as the best on the other side of the fence, but I don’t see that fight happening." This is Ken Hershman, Showtime Sports Executive Vice President, (Too jargony? He's pretty much Showforce's Emperor Palpatine.) speaking about a prospective fight with Mr. 209 and UFC welterweight champion George St. Pierre. I hope he isn't fooling anyone with those statements. The way Hershman words it, you would think the UFC and Showforce are equals. They are not.
Now before you go up in arms and place me in the "Zuffa Zombie," category of bloggers, allow me to defend myself. Showforce does not have the depth or overall talent the UFC has in numbers. The UFC's bantamweight division, their most shallow in terms of fighters signed, has 22 combatants on the roster. Can you name 22 Showforce fighters? *cricket chirp*
I thought the fights were great on Saturday. Definitely a great night of fights, and in the end-- that's all anyone's after. I may have my gripes with the production but overall, I am a fan of "free" MMA. (Showtime subscription needed..) Regardless, I don't think Cyborg belonged in the cage with Diaz. Although he was impressive in losing, the fact is mister Cyborg has gone 2-2 in his last 4 fights. He's a career 185 pounder who dropped down, grabbed a win at 170 and was handed a title shot. Can't be down with that. Showforce was banking on Cyborg losing, Diaz looking impressive, and everyone going home happy (except for the Cyborg family); which is what happened. Although Hershel Walker is a genuine freak of nature, the reality is he fought a guy who hasn't won a fight since 2001. Robbie Lawler has gone 2-2 in his last four, along with possessing weaknesses on the ground. He did not deserve a title shot against the most elite level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practioner turned MMA fighter in "Jacare" Souza. (Give Roger some more time.) Trevor Prangley is tough, but hes definitely in the twilight of his career at 40 years old. I can't hate on Roger, it was a very impressive performance for the Gracie heir.
(Side note: Did anyone notice how Frank Shamrock is STILL devastated from his loss to Diaz? Every chance this guy got during the fights he let everyone know about how sour he still feels. "Nick Diaz.. the man who retired me..." or "Being on the end of so many of those punches from Diaz, I can tell ya..." or when Mauro asked him a question that required some simple cognitive processes, Shamrock promptly replied, "I can't! Nick Diaz punched me too much!" Crazy. I think it still really bothers him. Anyway..)
On the other hand, the UFC isn't perfect either. Remember the Tito Ortiz/Ken Shamrock "trilogy?" Or how about Brock Lesnar getting a crack at the title after going 1-1 in the promotion? Money can make an MMA org act funny. Showtime, Strikeforce, and everyones favorite hard-bargainers M-1 are prime examples... these three entities are so closely intertwined that you cannot mention one without mentioning the other. Hence, Showforce. I suppose if you want to be technical, a more appropriate term would be Showforce-1 Global. Ugh.
So what does a guy like Diaz do? He's winning, he's exciting, and he's talking shit to everyone and their grand-momma. He's a promoters dream. The guy is made of iron--- I've never seen anyone take hits like he did on Saturday to his legs without backpedaling, flinching, or even looking phased. For lack of better words, this kid truly does not give a fuck-- and you can tell. His unconcerned attitude after every fight coupled with his rambling, stream of conscious-like rants post-fight are baffling. This dude is from another planet-- If anyone was born to fight-- It's Diaz. It would be very hard for George St. Pierre to avoid a street-fight with Diaz if the fight ever were to occur. Nearly all of St. Pierre's outings since the Matt Serra loss have been tactical, cruise-control decisions. Who is Diaz going to fight outside of the guys Strikeforce has? After Tyron Woodley (who I believe lost to Nathan Coy) and Paul Daley there is nobody. Tragic.
|Diaz with a subtle, "Fuck you, Bitch."|
Bottom line: I wish Nick Diaz was in the UFC. Show this kid the money, Uncle Dana.