Most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are aware of the circuitous and colorful journey that the Stockton slugger has had to take to get a date with the Canadian on SuperBowl weekend. Tonight (Mon., Nov. 7, 2011), Diaz joined Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten on HDNet's Inside MMA to discuss his recent rollercoaster ride, his upcoming bout with "Rush" and the way he's perceived in the media.
According to Diaz, he's just misunderstood:
"Well, you know, it's been embarrassing. You don't always come off the way you want to or look the way you want to. You go out there and act up and, you know, just become the evil villain and, you know, calling guys out and stuff, but -- it seemed to have worked. I'm getting the fights I want. So, yeah. I can't complain at this point."
After remaining somewhat silent for a large portion of the program, Diaz seemed to light up when the topic of St. Pierre came up. If Diaz is an evil villain, St. Pierre is his nemesis.
But, Diaz isn't buying "Rush" as the "hero" he is made out to be:
"I was here first. You know, I've been a UFC fighter for longer than St. Pierre has. Not a lot of people realize that. I've been fighting in the UFC before all them. I was here first. I have more fights and I've fought the bigger names. I don't have nothin' against Georges personally but for him not to want the harder fight and for him to think that Carlos Condit's a harder fight -- it may be the case, but not on paper. He's gotta recognize that."
Diaz spent a few minutes talking about his strategy for his upcoming championship bout and how he thinks it'll go down. He believes his jiu-jitsu and well-roundedness will be weapons that could give him the edge.
"Me and (Jake) Shields have got a lot of similarities. It's good to see what's what. I just fought a guy (B.J. Penn) that he's fought before, so I'm sure that's good for him to see what's what. It's all about how you come out and fight. It can always go different, you know? I could go on the bottom a lot, but are you gonna be able to advance position? Are you gonna be able to do damage from there? Are you gonna stall? Are you gonna fight? There's a lot of different stuff that can happen. It's up to me to kinda make some stuff happen. Five rounds is a lot of time for me to work with in this one. I enjoy fighting five rounds. I work hard to be in good condition to fight for five rounds. It's important to plan for everything. That's what I'm good at. He's fighting somebody who's gonna do everything."
Amusingly, Diaz admitted that he's been picking a fight and, if he loses in a one-sided fashion, he may deserve it:
"I'm the one that's in this division that's mouthin' off and talkin' the most, so if anybody's in for a good whoopin', I'm probably that guy, you know? And who better to do it than the UFC champion? I'm ready to get this show on the road. I'm not gettin' any younger. I'm ready to fight."
So what do you think, Maniacs? Is Nick Diaz an evil public relations genius or is he just being himself? Are you buying the hype that he can be the first guy in a long time to give St. Pierre a run for his money?