Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Nick Diaz seems still bitter about the decision not going his way against Carlos Condit, but spoke little about his suspension while younger brother Nate gears up for his title shot at Benson Henderson.
It was a subdued Nick Diaz on Thursday night, making a rare between fights media appearance, with his brother Nate, on Spike TV's MMA Uncensored show on Thursday night.
Nick Diaz always seems to start out uncomfortable around strangers, as well as the media. But his usual m.o. in an interview is to start talking about a subject, whether it be fighting, nutrition, training, growing up, and well, then it's this wild stream of consciousness that it appears he, and nobody else, knows where it's going to end up. But he never really opened up or said anything past the obvious, such as if he wasn't suspended and they asked him to fight Georges St-Pierre tomorrow, he'd be up for it.
He brought up, when somewhat led in that direction, that he'd make a better opponent for Anderson Silva than Stephan Bonnar. Given that Silva was only willing to fight at light heavyweight because of the short notice aspect, and Diaz is a natural welterweight, and Diaz is under suspension until February, it's all a moot point to begin with. It's not as if UFC had a choice for Silva's opponent between Bonnar and Diaz and then chose Bonnar.
"They said in what world does it make sense," in referring to Dana White's reaction when Diaz's camp tried to push the idea of a Silva vs. Nick Diaz fight at one point. "Me or Stephan Bonnar, it would have been a big laughing matter or a joke, but that's what's happening now. I think if I was Anderson Silva and I'm on my way out of this and I'm 37, I'm looking to do a few more fights like that, I want to fulfill my legacy and I'm not going to be able to do it with Stephan Bonnar."
Nick Diaz (26-8, 1 no contest) is currently under a suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a marijuana positive. The test took place a few hours after his Feb. 4 decision loss to Carlos Condit.(28-5) in a match for the interim welterweight title and a guaranteed bout with St-Pierre. Diaz, who was the aggressor in the fight, lost a hotly debated close decision that could be reasonably argued either way. It's clear he's still troubled by what happened.
"It gets pretty confusing," he said. "I've learned from my mistakes in the past, why I thought I've lost fights before. I've come back, not so much made improvements in my fighting style, but made improvements in what I have to do to win. Sometimes, I do the opposite of what I did last time and I still come up short. It's hard. It's not like they're telling you what you need to do to win the fight other than finish the fight."
But even had he won, the positive test would have caused his win to be overturned and him to be stripped of the title, and he'd have lost his big money opportunity at St-Pierre. He was suspended for one year, since it was the second time in Nevada that he had failed for marijuana. One of the many reasons the penalty was so harsh was that after the first time in 2007, in what was the biggest win of his career up to that point in time against Takanori Gomi in an all-time classic fight, he had promised the commission he would never use the drug again. At his hearing earlier this year, when asked about how long he lived up to that statement, he said it was likely as long as it took him to get back home.
Nick Diaz has since filed suit against the commission, trying to use the argument that marijuana is only banned in competition, and even though he failed a test taken the night of the fight, it was eight days prior that he had last used it. Thus the argument is that the drug was not active at the time of the fight, and thus had no affect on the competition.
He was thrown a softball by host Craig Carton who asked about if marijuana was a performance enhancer, trying to argue that the commission shouldn't be concerned about marijuana when so many fighters either are using steroids or on testosterone replacement therapy. But Nick Diaz answered that he believed it was a performance enhancer, crossing up the argument.
"Well, I think if somebody can use it to help them medicinally, it's going to be performance enhancing regardless," he said.
But he did note it's not exactly in the league with steroids.
"Your random guy trying this marijuana, to go smoke it and then go fight, I don't think it's a good idea."
Regarding the lawsuit, Diaz had nothing really to say, almost as if he is letting it play out while he himself is just concentrating on improving his fighting game.
"I'm not really focused on that," he said about the suit. "I'm trying to live life like a normal person."
But he did say that after fighting every few months since he was a teenager, that he was going crazy with his long break.
Nate Diaz (17-6), the younger brother who idolized and followed in Nick's path as long as anyone can remember, may beat his brother to a UFC championship. He's gearing up for the biggest fight of his career, a Dec. 8 title match in Seattle against UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (17-2). The fight headlines the next UFC event on Fox, and is only the second UFC championship bout ever on network television.
"Ben Henderson is a good opponent, he's had some good fights," said Nate Diaz. "I'm pretty pumped about finally fighting for the title. I'm looking forward to my brother having my back. I just got out of a boxing camp, the boxing never really stopped."
Nate Diaz noted that he has been studying tapes of Henderson's MMA fights, as well as his Jiu Jitsu competitions, and seen plenty of evidence of Henderson's strengths in getting out of just about every submission attempted on him.
"Yeah, I've seen him in Jiu Jitsu tournaments," said Nate Diaz. "He's really good. I've seen him in gi competition. He gets out of stuff, dominates people, he's a real athletic guy. He's definitely the champion for a reason."
Nate Diaz's boxing style, largely peppering his opponent with a constant never ending barrage of punches, like his brother, looks to be the key in this fight, like it was in his recent win over Donald Cerrone.
"I've got a really good boxing coach, Richard Perez, he's trained Tony Dominguez, Rodney Jones and my brother Nick. He's the best boxing coach there is in boxing, but he's in the MMA mix right now. Besides him, I've got Cesar Gracie, Jake Shields, Gil (Melendez), Nick, the team and we've got good kickboxers coming in."
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