Nate Diaz has fought just twice in the last 24 months, but the Stockton slugger came through with a career performance over No. 6-ranked Lightweight contender Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 17 tonight (Sat., Dec. 19, 2015) inside Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
For the full-fight recap click here.
It's been a while before we saw Diaz look this good inside the Octagon, as the Cesar Gracie product utilized a textbook boxing gameplan to rid himself of "The Menace" in "Sunshine State."
The 30-year-old opened up slow and ate a number or hard leg kicks from his opponent. Johnson targeted the lead leg of Diaz, as so many have done in the past in order to take the wind out of his sails.
He had success in the early going, taking round one in large part due to his kicks and good lefts, but Diaz was slowly working his jab from the southpaw stance into play, which played a crucial part in the later rounds.
Rounds two through three saw Diaz go, well, full-Diaz by consistently mocking Johnson, who had no answer for the jabs and one-two combinations of the former.
Diaz poured it on and was able to avoid the wide punches of the Blackzilians product Johnson. His movement was on-point and Diaz cruised to a unanimous-decision win for the upset through his picture perfect straight punches and hooks.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 winner called out Featherweight champion Conor McGregor in a lengthy tirade (catch the uncensored version here), while UFC color commentator Joe Rogan approached for an interview. It's highly unlikely that he draws the "Notorious" money maker, but it's probable he sees another opponent in the Top 10 ... maybe even the Top 5.
Johnson has now lost two straight; the first coming against Beneil Dariush, which was a highly-debatable decision loss back in August.
For more on UFC on FOX 17, including results and post-fight recaps with analysis, click here.