Sometimes these storylines just write themselves.
When Nate Diaz and Takanori Gomi lock up later on this evening (Sept. 24, 2011) at the UFC 135: "Jones vs. Rampage" event at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, it will be the second time Gomi has went head on with a member of the Diaz family.
The first time he did so produced explosive results.
It was 2007 and the fall of Pride was just around the corner. The promotion held an event in Las Vegas, Nevada, and booked Gomi, who was the lightweight champion, to throw leather with controversial bad boy Nick Diaz.
Despite a size advantage, "The Fireball Kid" blasted his counterpart with power shots that rocked and knocked down his foe. But he failed to finish the job and only seemed to fade as Diaz regained his footing and came storming back.
This all occurred in the first round, mind you.
To buy time and attempt to even things up again, Gomi took Diaz down early in the second frame, a fateful mistake that proved to be his undoing. Indeed, Diaz locked in the rarely seen gogoplata submission and quickly forced a tap.
That wasn't the end of the story, however.
After the bout, Diaz tested positive for marijuana and the Nevada State Athletic Commission overturned the result of the fight to a no contest. It was an unfortunate ending to an incredible battle waged by two elite fighters at the top of their games.
And it left an air of unfinished business, despite the incredible result.
The likelihood that Nick would ever get another shot at Takanori was slim to none and they would go their separate ways, leaving their classic battle to the history books.
Once Gomi signed with the UFC, though, there was an outside chance that he could meet up with Nick's brother, Nate, at some point down the road.
As luck and good timing would have it, both men have dropped two of their last three fights. After a four-fight stint in the welterweight division, where he struggled mightily, it made entirely too much sense for Diaz to come back down to the land of the lightweights to renew an old rivalry with a common family enemy.
Let's hope these two wage war with the same fervor as Gomi and Nick did back in 2007. If the staredown at the weigh-ins is any indication, we're in for a doozy.