Without much from the UFC world to really sink our teeth into, I counted my lucky stars (as Ariel Helwani did) that an interview from Ariel Helwani popped up on my Youtube subscription feed. Despite launching himself into minds of casual sports fans across the globe with his win over Conor McGregor, not too many people really know what Nate Diaz is really about. That's why an hour long interview with Diaz was awesome as we really got an insight into the mind of Diaz.
We don't really hear too much from Diaz, as he said in the interview, he's all about fighting and less about doing media. This means that for most fans, all they see and hear of Diaz is when he's dropping F-bombs left, right and centre in post-fight interviews with Joe Rogan as witnessed when Diaz initially called out McGregor and then when Diaz beat McGregor and told the world that he's 'not surprised motherfuckers'.
I'm not mixed martial arts expert, I just love it and soak up any bits of information that I can get my mits on. Throughout the Diaz vs McGregor pre-fight stuff, Diaz followed the same path he had walked down before only that this time his 'gangster' persona was put in front of more people, more people saw Diaz fire off his shots and more people saw what Diaz is capable of as a fighter.
That's the real Diaz though, it's not just a 'persona'. This is a man who doesn't beat around the bush with what he says and he's as skillful a fighter as there is in the UFC, in this interview though UFC fans were treated to Nate Diaz in all his glory and that glory includes Nate Diaz being in an extremely powerful position.
This interview is pure entertainment and great insight into the mind of a fighter who rarely grants this sort of access - a nod to Helwani as a MMA journalist. In a bigger context though, this interview showed that Diaz understands his standing in the fight game and he offered a completely different perspective on the future involving him, McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.
Watch the video, I won't regurgitate what Diaz says. Diaz does throw up the idea of a bit of a conspiracy at the hands of the UFC and McGregor, with the rumours/whispers of McGregor vs Mayweather being leaked to build hype for that fight, giving McGregor more time to prepare to fight Diaz again.
What I loved though was Diaz's understanding of the business and that he's willing to call the UFC/McGregor's bluff. Does it bother Diaz if McGregor and Mayweather fight? Not in the slightest, because Diaz is well aware of what UFC fans want the most and that's a Diaz vs McGregor rematch. Diaz is a smart enough fighter/boxer to know that McGregor probably wouldn't touch Mayweather, but this is about Diaz knowing what he's worth.
And we can't forget that Diaz smoked McGregor. Diaz has the leverage, he doesn't need to fight anyone else besides McGregor and Diaz deserves to get paid as such.
The Diaz vs McGregor narrative has now taken a new path for me. I knew of Diaz as being a pretty crazy dude who could cause problems in the octagon, but I didn't really know too much about Diaz. He then called out and beat McGregor, all the while I was pretty much on McGregor's side as a fan. Now though, thanks to this insight into Diaz's mind it's a lot more even and instead of wanting to see this guy win or that guy lose, I'm just intrigued by the rivalry.
Forget McGregor vs Mayweather - as I channel my inner Diaz - that shit is corny and all round dumb. All MMA/UFC fans should concern themselves with is Diaz vs McGregor, that's the biggest fight in the world yet to happen, it's the most interesting fight yet to happen in terms of both the amount of shit talking that would take place before hand as well as the stylistic fighting match up inside the octagon.
Don't forget that UFC 199 goes down this weekend, Sunday arvo. It's headlined by Luke Rockhold defending his belt against Michael Bisping, along with Dominick Cruz defending his belt against Uriah Faber. There's a nice list of other fights on the card for hardcore UFC fans, but two title fights, both with plenty of story and stylistic funk behind them, has me excited.