Nate Diaz has been such an enthralling, prominent figure in the sport for so very long that new MMA fans may not know the history of this amazing fighter. From topping The Ultimate Fighter 5 to bringing down the top contenders, Nathan Donald Diaz has had an epic career. With his last fight in the UFC coming up with Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev the following weekend, it’s a great time to have a full refresher of his many accomplishments.
Nathan Diaz was born very near Stockton, California on April 16, 1985. The area he was raised in was known for gang violence and general rioting. Young Nathan grew up in a small, one-story house at Lodi, north of Stockton, California -alongside two siblings. He is the second of three children born to mother; Melissa Diaz. They include his older brother – Nick Diaz, and a younger sister known as Nina. However, not much is known about their father.
Nate grew up poor and wasn’t very studious when he attended Tokay High School. Meanwhile his elder brother Nick would often attend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes and Nate too showed interest in those classes. Nickolas Diaz was training to become a fighter and two year younger Nate followed the same footsteps. Both brothers were supremely talented and trained extremely hard to become the amazing fighters they became.
Nate Diaz started fighting very early, around his time in high school. He joined the Caser Gracie BJJ center and reportedly did not have an easy time learning the skill. He was determined and kept practicing alongside his brother. However, he never gave up on training because, after practice, the older trainees would buy him and his brother burritos from a food truck that pulled up near the gym each night.
17 yr old Nate doing a Stockton slap classic and arm submission
His first official match, against Robert Limon, at the young age of 17 showcased his signature “Stockton Slap” and highly developed submission skills. By around 2006 he had joined World Extreme Cage fighting(WEC) where he and his brother Nick made waves in the fighting community. Although he didn’t win a title during his time there, he was always a top contender. His final match at the promotion was a title shot at WEC 4. That ended in a submission loss for Nate. This was also the last match of the promotion, as soon after Zuffa purchased the WEC and later on transferred it over to the UFC by 2010.
TUF and the UFC
After the purchase of WEC in 2006 by Zuffa. Nate joined the Ultimate Fighter while Nick Diaz, who was welterweight champion at WEC, was pushed into the big leagues at the UFC. Nate made his way to the top of TUF defeating three fighters for the spot against Manvel Gamburyan who he defeated for his own place in the UFC.
During his time at TUF he was widely considered very entertaining and a thoroughly enjoyable prospect for the promotion. Nate’s early career in the UFC was a bang. His Jiu Jitsu skills got him decisive early wins that maintained his media attention and even propelled him further. Giving him pay per view opportunities and a return to TUF for the season 9 finale.
Despite losses, Nate was such an entertaining personality that his stardom continued to rise. He fought in pay-per-view events and headlined main cards multiple times for the UFC. He beat fighters like Rory Markam, Marcus Davis, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Jim Miller, becoming one of the most unpredictable fighters in the UFC. Capable of dangerous knockouts and suffocating submissions.
The McGregor Era
During Conor’s rise to fame he had multiple feuds with UFC veteran Nate. He had spent more than 9 years at the UFC by now and was 32 years old with many victories and losses under his belt against the very best of the best to fresh talent. Nate’s simple “lets fight” attitude allowed him into a fight with the UFCs prize fighter McGregor. Prior to the fight both dudes said very profound opinions of each other.
“You seem to have it all figured out when you’re fighting midgets,” sniped Diaz
“A bunch of gazelles” – Conor McGregor ridiculed Diaz team
The fight was one of the biggest upsets in UFC history with Nates legendary post fight mike drop statement “I’m not surprised M*******r’s” utterly shocked the world. And although he couldn’t replicate the victory in a rematch the first time was enough to shake the Earth beneath every single MMA lover’s feet.
Weight class and Weed
Nate has changed his weight class between light, welter and catch weights multiple times. He’s known for having a stockier build in the off season and for enjoying a well blazed bud at the same time. Both the Diaz brothers are advocates for cannabinoids and even have a licensed line of marijuana pre-rolls made by California Finest.
The gangster then went on to fight Jorge Masvidal for the honorary title of BMF( Baddest MF) in the UFC. It was a devastatingly powerful display by the “Street Jesus” Masvidal who defeated Nate in the most clean manner with the match ending as a Technical Knockout by the medical team. Nate had a large cut above his eye that kept bleeding profusely. This was the closest any fighter has ever come to knocking out Nate. And even in this match he didn’t seem anywhere near his limit despite the doctor’s decision.
The Stockton Slap
After this Nate fought Leon “Rocky” Edwards, our current Welterweight Champion. Leon dominated the entire fight. But as the fifth round came, Nate executed a shocking 1-2 combo followed by a slap that completely wobbled Leon to the cage side and walked him down. The highlight reel is still viewed as one of the coldest final minutes of any UFC match.
Nate Diaz is one of the UFCs most decorated veterans. Despite having a rather rollercoaster of wins and losses he fought all the biggest names of his time and gave them all serious challenges. With a history of never being Knocked Out and a fuel tank that every fighter admires, Nate is the one of the UFCs biggest Stars ever.
Nate Diaz will be fighting Khamzat Chimaev on Saturday, 11th of Sept at UFC 279 as the Headline event. This will be Nate’s retirement from the UFC. Many promotions are looking at this fight very closely to pick up Diaz as their prize fighter. The fight is expected to be an explosive match with a huge possibility of an upset and quite possibly a potential knockout by the Young Wolf, Chimaev which will be a first for Nathan. RDX expects amazing performances from both fighters and wishes both of them the best of luck with their weight cuts and on stage performances. After all there is no paradise for real Gangsters.