Bad Boy Nick Diaz is the current Strikeforce Welterweight Champion. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is most known for his unusual barrage of odd but accurate punches designed to daze and confuse the opponent.
Though Nick Diaz
never had a father around, his mother played a vital part in his career by insisting he take swimming lessons as a young boy.
Though he often dodged the lessons, his mother quickly rounded him up and delivered him straight to class.
Nick Diaz was a member of the swim team at Tokay High School in Lodi in his freshman year and attributes his impressive cardio during fighting to his swimming ability.
He also gives credit to his hard childhood as an important part of his MMA career. He first got involved in martial arts as a defense against being bullied. It worked!
When Nick Diaz watched a UFC fight for the first time, he knew he had to fight in the organization and thus began his MMA journey.
In 2001, shortly after his eighteenth birthday, Diaz debuted as a professional MMA fighter. Up against Mike Wick at IFC Warriors Challenge 15, Nick won with a triangle choke.
The second fight was at IFC Warriors Challenge 17 on July 12, 2002 against Chris Lytle for the Welterweight championship title. Five minutes into the third round, Nick Diaz won via decision.
It was only his second time in the octagon as a pro fighter but he was the new IFC Champion and became quite the rage in the MMA world.
Two months later, Nick fought in the Ultimate Athlete's King of the Mountain tournament. Though he shined in the first two bouts against Blaine Tyler and Adam Lynn, he lost by TKO to Jeremy Jackson forty-nine seconds into the first round.
Warriors Quest 8 was his next event where he faced off against Harris "Hitman" Sarmento. Diaz won by TKO (towel).
Kuniyoshi Hironaka was next in line at Shoto on December 14, 2002 in Japan. Diaz lost by split decision.
WEC: Return of A Legend
took place in Nick's home state of California in March of 2003. Nick submitted Joe Hurley with a kimura to win the WEC Welterweight Title.
It was his defending fight of his IFC Welterweight title at IFC Warriors Challenge 18 that made MMA fans take notice though. In the ring against Jeremy Jackson, Nick Diaz won by TKO in the first round.
The fans were not the only ones who took note of the rising star. After the fight, Diaz was signed on with the UFC.
Nick fought Jeremy Jackson once again in his first UFC fight at UFC 44.
This time it was an armbar submission in the third round that won the fight for Diaz which made two wins and one loss against Jackson.
UFC 47 was Nick's next event where he went up against Robbie Lawler. Nick Diaz went in as the underdog but quickly showed his bite was bigger than his bark. Lawler was known for his contemptuous manner in the ring, but Diaz was the one dong the taunting, chasing Lawler around the ring and ending with a right hook and TKO win 1:31 into round 2.
On August 21, 2004, Diaz fought Armenian American Karo Parisyan at UFC 49. Though both fought hard Parisyan won via split decision.
But Nick Diaz was back in all his glory against Drew Fickett at UFC 51 in February of 2005 in an event called Super Saturday which he won in the first round by TKO (punches).
Two UFCs later, Nick Diaz found himself in the ring with The Ultimate Fighter Middleweight winner, Diego Sanchez at the Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale.
The fight was a personal one as the two had exchanged words in the dressing room and Diaz reportedly threw a shoe at Sanchez.
Nick Diaz lost via unanimous decision which he was obviously not happy about and said as much in a post fight interview where he said he did not think Sanchez deserved to be in the fight despite the win.
Yet another grudge fight occurred when Diaz faced off with Joe Riggs at UFC 57.
Again Diaz poked at his opponent before the fight and the two even had to be separated. Riggs won the bout by unanimous decision five minutes into the third round.
But the two took the fight outside the octagon after the fight and both were taken to the hospital for observation. Though the police were called to the scene, no charges were filed.
When Diaz lost his third consecutive fight to Sean Sherk on April 15, 2006 in UFC 59: Reality Check, the UFC terminated Diaz' contract.
During his "time off" from the UFC, Nick continued to fight, defeating Ray Steinbess by unanimous decision in the International Cage Fighting Organization debut.
Right before he was to fight his next ICF event, he received a phone call asking him to fight in UFC 62.
Diaz won the fight which was against Josh Neer by submission in the third round and went on to fight in UFC 65 winning against Gleison Tibau via strikes.
Fighting for Pride
Despite the wins, Nick signed on with the Gracie
Fighting Championships and left the UFC. The first scheduled GFC fight was canceled, however, due to low ticket sales so Diaz signed to a two fight agreement with Pride Fighting Championships instead.
Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi was the first contender on the list at Pride 33.
Though Gomi came on strong at first, Diaz fought back with fury, throwing his signature wild but accurate punches, stunning Gomi and wearing him down.
Gomi displayed poor cardio but Nick's swim training from earlier years kicked in, proving his cardio quite strong. One minute and forty six seconds into the second round, Diaz took Gomi via Gogoplata submission.
Failed Drug Test
Nick's UFC career would take a jolt on April 10, 2007 when it was announced that he failed the drug test and screened positive for marijuana. He pleaded "no contest" and was suspended for 6 months.
Four months into the suspension, on September 15, 2007, Nick began fighting for EliteXC.
His first fight in an event entitled Uprising and was against Brazilian Blue Belt Mike Aina.
The fight was a controversial one with Diaz winning by split decision five minutes into the third round even after Aina knocked Diaz down with a left hook in round two.
KJ Noons was Nick's next opponent in the EliteXC organization. It was a fight for the vacant title and the two duked it out quite evenly until the bout was ended via doctor stoppage due to a multiple cuts on Nick's forehead.
Nick reportedly flipped the doctor off as he exited the arena and pushed the camera out of his face. He went on to have surgery on the injury.
EliteXC: Return of the King was held on June 14, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was there that Diaz took on Muhsin Corbbrey. Three minutes and fifty-nine seconds into the third round, Nick won TKO due to punches.
After the fight, Nick and his brother, Nate,
also an MMA fighter got into a scuffle with KJ Noons, a native of Hawaii.
EliteXC executives called Nick to make a statement once the fight became public to which he said to Noons, "Don't be scared, homey".
Noons father, Carl, then became involved. Nate then threw a water bottle at Carl and both brothers flipped off the fans who had obviously sided with the Hawaiian.
No one was injured, no one went to jail and Nick Diaz' reputation as the "bad boy" lived on.
Thomas "Wildman" Denny was his next opponent. The fight took place at EliteXC's "Unfinished Business" in Nick's hometown of Stockton, California.
Nick fought fast and hard and won TKO thirty seconds into round two.
EliteXC went under and ceased operations so Diaz went on to fight for Dream and then for Strikeforce.
On April 11, 2009, Nick met up with Frank Shamrock in the ring in Strikeforce's "Shamrock vs. Diaz" in on Shamrock's turf in San Jose, California.
Nick went into the fight hot and heavy and did not let up. Dominating Frank in every area, Diaz ended up finishing him off in the second round with a TKO due to punches prompting the referee to stop the fight.
At his next Strikeforce event, Diaz took on Scott Smith on June 6, 2009. Although Smith came out and took Diaz down, he failed to keep him there and Diaz dominated the fight, finally winning in the third round via submission by rear naked choke.
On January 30, 2010 at Strikeforce: Miami, Nick fought MMA newcomer, Marium Zaromskis for the Welterweight Championship.
It was the inaugural event for a Welterweight title. Zoroastrian showed promise only one time in the fight when he bloodied Diaz' mouth but Nick would have no part of defeat and began his odd barrage of punches, throwing caution to the wind to end the fight four minutes and thirty-eight seconds into the first round, TKO.
Nick Diaz was the first Strikeforce Welterweight Champ.
Not only does Nick hold the current Strikeforce Welterweight Championship title and a Gracie Brazilian Blackbelt, he is a boxer as well and fought in the Super Middleweight class against Alphonso Rocha in 2005.
Although he won the fight, he has not boxed professionally since. He and his brother, Nate, both are currently trained in boxing by the former WBA and WBC World Champion, Luisito Espinosa as well as Olympic Boxing Gold Medalist Andre Ward.
Diaz also regularly competes in triathlons where he swims, bikes and runs. He has completed over one hundred events.
The multi-talented bad boy seems to excel in whatever he does which drives home Cesar Gracie's
statement, "He's like a prodigy."
Where will he go from here?
More than likely it only depends on where he wants to go from here.