Nick Diaz has been called a lot of things.
From being labeled as a "strange" and "disrespectful bad boy," to a "real" and "exciting" mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who likes to entertain, with Diaz, you either love him or you hate him -- with very little middle ground.
"Superhero," however, is a term unlikely to be used to describe the Stockton slugger who has no qualms in flipping you the bird at any given moment, or telling you exactly how he feels in a profanity-laced verbal assault that would make Andrew Dice Clay look like Mother Teresa.
Look no further than last week's epic UFC 158 media conference call for proof where he labeled current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre, a "pampered" fighter who can't send out his own tweets and has other people living his life for him.
But, according to Diaz, the venting was all done in his own defense because the world already sees him a certain way and that is something that can't be undone ... no matter how hard he tries.
In his eyes, he isn't the villain in this story. He isn't the "evil" person people are making him out to be. Far from it. He's a "superhero" that is "anti-bullshit" and is coming to save fight fans from being subjected to further "boring" MMA.
"I'd like to think I'm talking in my defense, you know? It's hard. You never know how things are going to come off on video or what. It doesn't matter; I've already come out a certain way to the people, to the world. Once you go down that road there is no going back. It's kind of rough. As far as what people are going to listen in and written down on paper, I'd like to be known as someone who kept it real and I just don't like that I'm made out to be this evil person that needs to be shot down, that needs to be conquered. What the fuck? If anything, I'm like the superhero coming in with the anti-bullshit. Give me a fucking break! Are you seriously going to stick to the bullshit forever? This is mixed martial arts ladies and gentlemen; this is some boring ass shit we've been watching lately. And we should see something new as far as I'm concerned. I don't mean to talk shit. I like Georges, I'm a fan of Georges St. Pierre. I appreciate everything he does and he does what he does to win. I just think the scoring criteria needs to be changed. I think that sucks, that really fucks it up for everybody. People hate me for saying that, too. Especially a strong wrestler, especially strong guy. He hates me for that one and doesn't want to hear it and would love to ignore it. But, one day I think the rest of the people in the world are going to see mixed martial arts for what it is and for what it used to be and maybe start to manipulate the way it works a little bit. The judging, the scoring, the whole system is crap. One day, they are going to look back and say, ‘Man, this motherfucker right here was saying that the whole time.'"
As much as some may want to, you can't argue Diaz is truly an entertaining personality both in and out of the cage.
He seems to have a knack for putting on entertaining fights with his unorthodox striking which few have had answers for. Even the mocking of his opponents inside the cage while he goes on about putting on a systematic and methodical -- albeit dominating -- performance, is entertaining, for some.
Rarely is a Nick Diaz fight labeled as "boring." You can look down the list at his last five bouts and see for yourself. Even in his title fight at UFC 143 against Carlos Condit where "The Natural Born Killer" was criticized for "running," many were giving Diaz credit for pressing the action in an effort to make it a stand-up brawl.
Outside of the cage, he rivals Chael Sonnen as the most colorful personality in the game once his mouth opens and words start flying out of it. Many have said "The American Gangster's" verbal jabs are often scripted and pre-meditated while Diaz seems to fly off the cuff.
Yes, some could do without all the profanity and "disrespect" of his opponents, but hey, at least he's "keeping it real," right?