Want to hear a cool story, bro?
Apparently Donald Cerrone met up with Nate Diaz at a UFC gym that was hosting an open workout during a previous event. This about two months ago, before they were matched up to fight this Fri., Dec. 30 at UFC 141. Being a fan of his style, Cerrone had the idea to introduce himself to Diaz. You know, just a friendly hello and a handshake. But it didn't go down that way.
Here's "Cowboy's" side of it:
"Really the only interaction I've had with Nate is at the open workout prior to this fight. We don't even know we're fighting each other at this point. I walk over to be like, 'hey man, what's going on?' Shake his hand... he slaps my hand away and calls me a punk ass (expletive) and walks off. And I was like, 'what? Alright.'"
Homie don't play that? Seems like an odd thing for Diaz to do, even if he is a tough guy from the mean streets of Stockton, California. His response:
"He shouldn't try to shake my hand. We're not cool like that. He fights in my bracket, man, he's in my weight class. I'm not trying to make something that it ain't, I'm not putting on a front for you, you know. I'll probably be fighting you next, so you go your way, I'll go mine."
Well, that kind of helps explain it. But not really. So, of course, Ariel Helwani got on the case and tracked Nate down to ask him outright what exactly happened and why it went down the way it did. Here's what he said:
"He just tried to be my friend. Tried to come up and say hi, I just walked the other way. I wasn't trying to be a bully or anything. I think he's trying to push me in a bully's direction, making me the bad guy but I just walked the other way. I think he's just making it a little more than what it was."
Indeed, Cerrone has used the slight as definite motivation and fuel for his fire so that he's an even more dangerous fighter come showtime this Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Diaz's point, essentially, is that he no longer wants to make friends with folks who fight in the same weight class he does, simply because he's probably going to end up fighting them somewhere down the line.
And why make it even a little awkward?
In fact, in the full video (see it here), Diaz details three separate incidents involving Josh Neer, Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson in which he became friends with all three and immediately after he did so, he got the call to fight them.
Joe Silva's been cramping Nate's style since 2008.
Diaz, of course, finally smartened up and is taking the proactive approach to the fight game. If you're a lightweight, don't try to make buddies with him. Not unless you've already thrown down with him and even then, approach at your own risk.
People get slapped.