As I’m sitting here with a pipe full of things that both Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz would approve of as a way to deal with crippling anxiety, I tend to think of the reason they both always seem so pissed off. Since the advent of the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) — heck, since the advent of two humans beating the piss out of each other for sport, cash or fabulous prizes — it has lived and died off of over the top personalities.
For Nick and Nate, cage fighting was always about getting paid and being themselves. It’s the reason they told the entire industry go f—k themselves a few times over the past decade. It’s the reason Nate openly smokes joints during open workouts and weigh-ins and it’s also probably the reason Nick looked like he was about to enter a Street Beefs video with his most recent shadowboxing video (watch it here).
In other words, the Diaz Bros play the sport ... and not the other way around.
When you look at either Diaz brother, you see what could (and should) have been. However, with UFC fighters earning less than 20 percent total of the promotion’s gross revenue each year — and Dana White and Co. playing games with the livelihoods, and the opportunity to make better money off their names and not risk getting hurt — Nick and Nate have put the idea of stepping into a cage on the pay-no-mind list.
So, why I’m dedicating so much of this piece to the third fight from the top on a pay-per-view (PPV) card, which happens to feature two title fights?
First off, Lauren Murphy has the same chance of beating Valentina Shevchenko as I do winning the New York Marathon in the midst of a winter storm. And for Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega ... it’s going be a fun fight. And, in the end, Volkanovski will continue to prove the reason he is a next-level athlete and should not be slept on as Featherweight champion
Why I am writing about this? First, search engine optimization (SEO)! Just kidding ... partly. Second, and more honestly, it’s because I want the Diaz Bros to do what Conor McGregor and Jon Jones will never do — subvert the system!
Jones and McGregor are two dudes who thrived off the system and have used it to become either a magnate with Mr. Burns-esque tendencies (you can’t look me in the eyes and say that this man won’t steal candy from a baby or buy a machine that blocks out the sun) and the other being the emotionally withholding man in our lives who treats us like crap, but we can’t leave because when he does show up, it makes us feel a certain type of way.
So tonight (Sat., Sept. 25, 2021) as Brendan and I call the fights alongside Shak and Steph, I’m hoping that Nick Diaz gets the win and then walks away again.
Because that’s what UFC deserves!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 266 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPNEWS/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 266: “Volkanovski vs. Ortega” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.