Nate Diaz is back.
The pride of Stockton took to the Octagon for the first time in a year on Saturday night and put on a vintage Diaz brothers performance. The lightweight jabbed, stuck, moved, and taunted his way to a unanimous decision victory over a flustered Michael Johnson in a lightweight bout at UFC on FOX 17 in Orlando.
The judges' scores were 29-28 across the board in favor of Nick Diaz's little brother.
Johnson (16-10), a Blackzilians fighter, had his best round in the first, as he used leg kicks mixed with body kicks and slick combos to keep Diaz from finding his rhythm.
In the second round, though, Diaz turned it into a classic Diaz brothers fight. He landed ruthlessly efficient jabs and frequently taunted Johnson as he slipped Johnson's counters. Diaz even went so far as to sit back and fold his arms at one point in the round.
Johnson clearly got thrown off his rhythm, as Diaz continued to pick him apart. It wasn't until the final two minutes of the third round that Johnson managed to find his offensive rhythm again, but by then, it was too late.
The bout ended, after a scramble, with Diaz pretending to put Johnson in a kneebar as he posed and smiles. Johnson responded by landing two kicks before they were broken up, a fitting end to a fight week which included a skirmish between the two in the days leading up to the fight.
Diaz's obscenity-laced interview was almost entirely bleeped out by FOX, but within minutes, international, unedited versions of the interview cropped up online. Diaz called out new UFC champ Conor McGregor.
‘F--- that, Conor McGregor, you've taken everything I've worked for, motherf------. ... You know what's the real fight, what's the 4real money fight. Me."