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UFC 183: Nick Diaz is simply an MMA fighter from Stockton, not an evil villain

But if casting him in that role is what will grab your attention and sell tickets, then so be it.

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Heading into this weekend's (Sat., Jan. 31, 2015) much-anticipated "super fight" between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz at UFC 183 -- which goes down from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada -- fans are getting a bout that could easy be viewed as the "good guy" taking on "the bad guy."

Silva, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, is considered one of the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters of all time and has been revered as one of the good guys in this brutal sport of MMA.

Then you have Diaz, the unapologetic fighter who speaks outdoes what he feels, and "keeps it real" day in and day out. He too, is considered one of the all-time greats, but just like in the movies, there always has to be a villain.

To the outsider, Diaz fits the bill perfectly. But if you ask the Stockton slugger, that's far from what he is. Because at the end of the day, he's just a fighter. But if people want to paint him with the "evil villain" brush, then so be it, as long as it sells tickets and gets your attention.

From his in-depth interview with UFC.com:

"I'd rather not be portrayed as an evil villain. But if people want to make me out to be that, and it sells tickets, that's fine. But I do hope people understand that this is just what sells, and not what's really me. I'm just a mixed martial artist from Stockton, California. And I'm still here."

Oddly enough, despite the fact that Diaz has been fighting most of his life and has 36 professional fights to his credit throughout his 13-year career, the stand-up specialist isn't a big fan of fighting itself.

And what initially started as a path to become champion and the "baddest dude" around, has now turned into a journey to fight the best in the world and be the man UFC calls on when they need a "real fighter."

"I don't fight because I'm fanatical about fighting. I'm not out there to win a belt. I'm not out there to be the baddest dude in the world, although it started off that way. But you don't make it this far if you have a whole lot of quit in you. You come to me to fight a real fight."

As far as his showdown against "The Spider," Diaz isn't going in cocky or scared. He knows he has a 50-50 shot at pulling out one of the biggest victories of his career or suffer one of the worst.

And he knew just what he was getting into when he accepted a bout against perhaps his toughest opponent to date.

"We're built a lot alike, but he has the size and reach. He has more of an advantage with kickboxing. I have more of an advantage with boxing. We're both black belts in jiu-jitsu. So I'm not in the dark about what I'm getting myself into and what's at stake. I know I can have a really good night, and that I might have a really bad night."

And if you think the Stockton slugger will purposely target Silva's recently repaired leg, you've got another thing coming, as the former Strikeforce champ says that isn't even on his mind. Because the only thing he's focused on is doing the best he can for himself, his family, his team and his city.

And perhaps shocking the world while he's at it.

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