Nick Diaz has been busy since deciding to call it quits on his mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting career following his loss to current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 last March.
While he hasn't been fighting or even training for a fight, he has been occupied trying to get his upstart fight promotion, WAR MMA, off the ground with his debut show scheduled for this weekend (June 22, 2013) at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California.
See the fight card here.
If you haven't heard or seen much from him, that's because he isn't a media "whore" like other MMA promoters.
But, he has been busy behind the scenes, attending meetings with sponsors and other business people trying to tie up all of the loose ends ahead of the rookie event. Some of which include changing up some rules to make fighting a bit more exciting and fast paced.
Jonathan Tweedale, Diaz's attorney, spoke to Sherdog's Beatdown Radio about the possible changes fans might see when they tune in this weekend and to future WAR MMA events:
"In the first event, what Nick's trying to do is introduce some rule changes -- relative to the rules that many of the fans may be familiar with already -- to try to push the action a little more towards the sport as Nick envisions it. That, first of all, is in a ring versus a cage, not simply because of the dehumanizing element that some fighters have talked about, fighting in a cage, but combat sports have always happened in a ring whether we're talking boxing, kickboxing. When did we use a cage? It's only a subset of pro wrestling that uses a cage. Removing the cage, moving to the ring changes things in terms of takedowns, changes things in terms of how you can get up. That's the first change. Removing elbows on the ground is a big deal too because that is going to require fighters, if you're on top, you can't just be rubbing your elbows into the guy's face on bottom. ... You're going to have to create space, try to punch down, and that space is exactly the space the guy on bottom needs to either try to get up or work his submission game. Alternatively, the guy on top is going to need to advance his position. We're going to expect some more action and more fighting. Those are two shifts aimed at moving the fights more towards the sort of Japanese MMA that better represents the kind of fighting that Nick wants to see in MMA."
From the sounds of it, Diaz is trying to mirror the rules of PRIDE Fighting Championship, the infamous Japan-based MMA promotion that produced many historic fights including many of today's stars and yesterday's legends such as Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Filipovic, Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua, just to name a few.
Diaz himself completed for the now-defunct organization at PRIDE 33 back in 2007, defeating Takanori Gomi in the second round via submission. The fight was later overturned to a no-contest after it was revealed Nick had tested positive for marijuana.
Though he only competed once for PRIDE FC, Diaz has always been a fan of the promotion, so it's no surprise he's trying to implement many of its rules including penalizing fighters for timidity and stalling by introducing yellow cards which are given to fighters who stall and get deducted a percentage of their fight purse after the second offense.
You can bet Nick will keep a watchful eye on that particular rule, seeing as how he feels he was robbed of his first-ever UFC title against Carlos Condit at UFC 143 last year, claiming the "The Natural Born Killer" ran from him for five rounds.
While there's no mention of soccer kicks to the head at the moment, a striking technique made infamous by "The Axe Murderer" and "Shogun," knees to the head of a downed opponent is another rule change Diaz and Co. are seeking to ease in, though Tweedale acknowledges that one is likely to come at a much later time, with the approval of athletic commissions, of course.
PRIDE War MMA never die?