Joe Schilling has great insight when it comes to the Diaz brothers. He spends a lot of time with Nick and Nate, whether it be training in their hometown of Stockton or at Schilling's gym The Yard in Los Angeles.
So, when the Bellator MMA and Glory star sees how the UFC promotes the two of them at times, he can only shake his head.
On Wednesday morning, UFC president Dana White tweeted out a graphic of Nick Diaz on a milk carton. Diaz had missed two flights en route to Las Vegas, according to UFC vice president of public relations Dave Sholler, and no-showed UFC 183 open workouts. Diaz meets Anderson Silva in the UFC 183 main event Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
Schilling isn't sure how much of the situation is real and how much is a ploy by the UFC to paint Diaz a certain way. UFC Embedded cameras caught Diaz arriving in Vegas on Wednesday evening.
"It's Dana White being Dana White," Schilling told MMAFighting.com. "It's great promoting. It just sucks that Nick's not in on the joke. They always tend to really grind in on Nick and Nate's character and just the thought that they don't care. It's definitely all hype."
The Diaz brothers are real and unfiltered. Schilling believes that is what causes them to be vilified sometimes, while other fighters put on a face for the camera.
"Really, Nick and Nate are like the most genuine, honest people you'll ever meet in your life," said Schilling, who meets Robert Thomas at Glory 19 on Feb. 6. "It's just unfortunate that they don't play the game so their honesty comes across exactly how they are and who they are."
Nate Diaz was fined for missing open workouts and a series of other offenses before his UFC on FOX 13 bout with Rafael dos Anjos in December. Sholler said a penalty for Nick was not yet decided on by White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
Like the Diaz brothers, Schilling is more concerned about what happens inside the Octagon. Schilling believes Diaz will surprise people against Silva, a heavy favorite and one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. Schilling brought in top kickboxers like Artem Levin, Matt Baker and Chidi Njokuani to train with Diaz for the Silva fight and he believes he is fully prepared.
"If someone would say that Anderson Silva has better Muay Thai, I would say that Nick Diaz has far better boxing," Schilling said. "So it's all relative. It doesn't really matter how good one person's Muay Thai or boxing is, because it's an MMA fight. I think Nick has fought much better strikers than Anderson Silva ever has."
Actually, Schilling doesn't find Silva's resume all that impressive, listing wins over Stephan Bonnar, Demian Maia and James Irvin as weak. Schilling values Diaz's losses to top-tier talents like Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit as more important than Silva's victories over the above.
"I just think that Anderson Silva has been groomed and promoted correctly," Schilling said. "He does have phenomenal timing and has had a good career. But I don't think anything about him really terrifies me. The guys that we brought in for Nick to spar with are all better than Anderson Silva at that game, at striking.
"What makes Anderson really dangerous is he gets guys that don't know what they're doing and they freeze up and are like, 'Oh my god, I'm fighting the greatest of all time.' They get caught with stuff they don't see coming. I guarantee you Nick does not think that Anderson Silva is the greatest of all time."
Schilling is obviously picking Diaz to win, especially if it goes past the first round and a half. What "Stich 'Em Up" really wants, though, is for the Diaz brothers to break away from the reins of the UFC. Nate has publicly asked for his release on multiple occasions.
Schilling doesn't believe it'll happen, because the UFC knows "they'll go to Bellator and do well." Plus, Nick has multiple fights left on his contract after the Silva bout.
"I wish it would happen, for Nate especially," Schilling said, "but I don't think it's a viable option."