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Nate Diaz fires back at CTE claims: ‘I’m smarter now than ever’

Nate Diaz isn’t having it with any claims of him having chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The 38-year-old Stockton, Calif. native has been a fan-favorite throughout his wild 34-fight career (21-13). Known for his “club and sub” fighting style, Diaz’s great cardio and toughness are always on display the longer a fight goes.

Diaz finished out his run with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) this past Sept. 2022, leading him into the boxing ring. Despite having only suffered knockout losses twice in his career, several detractors feel The Ultimate Fighter 5 (TUF) winner has taken too much damage. His upcoming Middleweight opponent on Aug. 5, 2023, in Dallas, Tex., Jake Paul, being one of them.

“I don’t really be eating punches like they say,” Diaz said on The Pat McAfee Show (h/t MMA Fighting). “I bleed because of the forearms and elbows and s—t cut me up but like I said, I’ve been in a boxing gym and it might not look like it but I roll with a lot of these punches that anybody lands on me. I’m not just walking in like a meathead into punches. I’ve never been knocked out. I’ve never even really been f—king stunned stupid or nothing.

“These f—kers are talking about how I talk and I’ve got f—king CTE or some s—t,” he continued. “I’m like bro, I’ve been talking this way the whole motherf—king time. It’s got nothing to do with getting hit or none of that. I’m smarter now than ever.”

Diaz and Paul recently extended their match’s round limit by two, giving them 10 total to work with. While the match will be unfamiliar territory for Diaz overall, it will be a first for Paul (6-1) as well, who has only fought in eight-round match ups.

“As many [rounds] as it takes [to get a finish], but I’ll tell you the longer it goes, I’m going to make sure it’s a living hell the whole time,” Diaz said. “I think that he’s got a long night ahead of him. I do as well but I’m not afraid of it. I’m ready to rock and roll.”

Diaz’s last win came over Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 in Sept. 2022, submitting “El Cucuy” via a fourth round guillotine (watch highlights).

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