Though he may not have picked up many official wins over the last few years, Nate Diaz remains undefeated with moral victories.
Earlier this month, Diaz returned to the octagon after 19-month layoff when he faced Leon Edwards in a five-round non-title fight at UFC 263. After being outclassed for the first 24 minutes of the fight, Diaz mounted a last-minute comeback, hurting Edwards with punches and nearly securing an incredible comeback victory, only to come up just a bit short. In the aftermath of the fight, the conversation quickly centered around Diaz’s indefatigable will, with Diaz himself suggesting that “in the real world, that fight’s a wrap.” And one of the most well-respected coaches in MMA agrees with him.
Firas Zahabi is the head coach of TriStar Gym in Montreal and is best known as the coach of UFC Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre, and speaking recently during a Q&A session on his gym’s YouTube channel, Zahabi suggested that Nate Diaz is the best real-world fighter in MMA.
“If you put him in a fight where there is no time limit, I think he beats 99 percent of fighters,” Zahabi said. “You can’t sub him. You can’t finish him. The guy doesn’t stop walking forward. He puts volume on you. He is the scariest, in my opinion, street fighter in MMA.
“I think if you had to fight him in the street, man, you are in a fight for your life. Ain’t going to be no judges standing you up between rounds. There’s no judge to come and give you the win. No, no. This guy ain’t going away. I think if he had a no time limit fight with Leon Edwards, he beats Leon Edwards – and I have a tremendous admiration for Leon Edwards.”
Unfortunately for Diaz, the UFC has not hosted an event without time-limits since UFC 4 back in 1994. Instead, Diaz and Edwards were fighting five 5-minute rounds (which was actually the first time in UFC history a non-main event, non-title fight was afforded that luxury) and Diaz failed to get a stoppage during that time. Were the rules different, perhaps Edwards’ preparation would be different too and thus the entire situation would have played out differently. It’s a criticism that Zahabi acknowledged but he maintains that in this alternate universe, Nate Diaz still gets the win.
“The knock to that is, that’s not our sport,” Zahabi said. “You agreed to five 5-minute rounds and we’re prepping for that. Of course, Leon Edwards could have done a different preparation if he was fighting a no time-limit fight. I just think that even with a different preparation, Diaz wins. I think Diaz is the greatest, probably the best street fighter - and by that I mean no rules, no judges, we just fight until one of us is done, until one of us quits or is dead - I think Diaz wins 99% of the time. “
Diaz’s professional MMA record currently stands at 20-13. He has lost three of his last four fights since his career-defining victory over Conor McGregor back in 2016.
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
I remember my interim title fight against Jairzinho .... oh wait— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) June 28, 2021
Hope to see you @SHOsports in the future champ, you will love the difference in company culture and the way the athletes are treated.— CrisCyborg.Com (@criscyborg) June 28, 2021
Making an interim heavyweight title fight makes absolutely no sense— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) June 28, 2021
You’ve gane be kiddin me— Brian BOOM Kelleher (@brianboom135) June 29, 2021
I mean there’s just not much to gane here— Brian BOOM Kelleher (@brianboom135) June 29, 2021
This Dana White , Francis Ngannou, Ngannou’s management (Marquel Martin) stuff is getting good . Who got the !?!?— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) June 29, 2021
Just hours before. . .
The UFC: where making it to the top of the sport still doesn’t mean you can pay your bills.
Derrick Lewis (25-7) vs. Ciryl Gane (9-0); UFC 265, Aug. 7.
Well, yesterday came out of nowhere. Damn, dude. The UFC really just not giving an eff about their titles/champions anymore.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
So, who wins?
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