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Nick Diaz Makes His Case: A Ring Is Better Than a Cage

Nick Diaz is an American fighting in Japan this weekend at Dream.14, but he's not trying to impose American values on Japanese mixed martial arts. In fact, Diaz says he's disappointed that he's going to be fighting in an American-style cage, rather than the ring that Dream and other Japanese MMA promotions usually use.

"It's a little disappointing that it's going to be in a cage and not in a ring," Diaz said at his press conference Thursday. "I enjoy fighting here in Japan under the regular Dream/Pride rules with the ring and the whole rules criteria. You know, same rules but unfortunately you've got to switch it around. But I usually fight in a cage anyway, you know, so it's not any different for me."

Diaz has more experience fighting in a cage than his opponent, Hayoto Sakurai, and he acknowledges that in that respect it's probably advantageous to him to be fighting in a cage.

"It's going to be to my advantage I would imagine," Diaz said. "I have a cage at home, I have a cage at all the gyms I train. Always training in a cage, fighting in a cage so I would imagine it's going to be to my advantage. I don't think it's going to make a difference in this fight. I really don't think it's going to make too much of a difference to the outcome."

But in general, Diaz believes that the ring is superior to the cage for MMA.

"I think this is the wrong idea and Japan should stay with the ring and the rules that it goes by," Diaz said. "They shouldn't give up what they've got going. I think the rest of the would should adjust to it. I think that it favors the more technical fighter and the more technical aspects of mixed martial arts and it's going to favor the better fighter and the more mixed martial arts aspect of the sports instead of the athletic part. You know, I think it's really important how they yellow card people and there's no elbows. You are going to have to punch down onto your opponent and in which case the guy on the bottom can make some space and try to get up and it's the same space that your trying to make to punch.

"It makes for transitions, it makes for action, it makes for the martial arts. It makes for the martial arts aspect to come out in the sport and for people to see who is actually who is the best mixed martial arts fighter. That's what's really important.

"I think for hundreds of years or for a much longer time, people have been fighting, professional athletes have been fighting in a ring. So it's just the way it should be. There's no sense in making it a cage."

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