Nicholas Robert Diaz (born August 2, 1983) is an American professional mixed martial arts fighter. He is the current Strikeforce Welterweight Champion and a former WEC and IFC Welterweight champion. He has also competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride Fighting Championships, and Elite Xtreme Combat before it ceased operations. Diaz was promoted to black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Cesar Gracie on May 8, 2007.
Diaz was born in Stockton, California. He went to Tokay High School in Lodi for one year before dropping out. While a freshman, he was a member of the swimming team. Diaz has stated in the past that he is thankful his mother got him into swimming classes because swimming is one of the main reasons why his cardio is so impressive during his fights. Diaz has also said on multiple occasions that he had a hard childhood and grew up without his biological father.
Diaz originally started training in martial arts because he was being bullied by other teenagers who were bigger than he was. He then watched the UFC for the first time and soon wanted to be able to fight in the organization. He has a younger brother named Nathan, who is also a professional MMA fighter and the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Nick also regularly competes in triathlons as part of his training.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
After years of practicing various combats sports and martial arts, Diaz became a professional mixed martial arts fighter in 2001 just after his 18th birthday and won his first fight, submitting Mike Wick with a triangle choke at IFC Warriors Challenge 15. Diaz would become a champion in just his second professional fight, decisioning Chris Lytle for the IFC United States Welterweight title in July 2002 at IFC Warriors Challenge 17.
Diaz was then invited to participate in Ultimate Athlete's King of the Mountain, a single-night tournament that took place two months later. He won his first two fights but eventually lost in the finals to Jeremy Jackson by TKO. Diaz would fight in Warriors Quest and Shooto against Harris "Hitman" Sarmiento and Kuniyoshi Hironaka respectively before winning the WEC's Welterweight Title in 2003 at WEC 6, submitting Joe Hurley with a kimura.
Diaz returned to defend his IFC Welterweight belt against the man that defeated him one year earlier, Jeremy Jackson at IFC Warriors Challenge 18. This time around it was Diaz who was able to get the win, winning by TKO in the first round. Taking notice of his success, the UFC signed Diaz over the summer and he made his debut at UFC 44, completing the trilogy against Jeremy Jackson and submitting him with an armbar in the last round of the back and forth fight that Diaz appeared to be winning on the scorecards.
Becoming a starEdit
Diaz returned to the Octagon at UFC 47, set to take on highly-touted Welterweight Robbie Lawler. Lawler was a heavy favorite coming into the fight but it was Diaz who took the offensive, chasing Lawler around the cage for the majority of the bout. In the second round, Diaz taunted Lawler, who swung wildly and missed, allowing Diaz to connect with a right hook that knocked out Lawler.
Diaz was then matched up with Karo Parisyan at UFC 49, but ended up losing a hard-fought split decision. He rebounded with wins over Drew Fickett at UFC 51 and Koji Oishi at UFC 53 before losing for the second time in the UFC at the hands of The Ultimate Fighter Middleweight winner Diego Sanchez at The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale.
The two came into the fight with a good amount of bad blood between them. They reportedly exchanged heated e-mails before and after the official signing of the fight, which was spurred on by Diaz's public opinion that Sanchez and the rest of The Ultimate Fighter participants were being given an easier path to the top compared to the rest of the fighters in the UFC.
Things went to another level in the locker room before the fight when Diaz taunted Sanchez and threw a shoe at him. Diaz was obviously confident coming into the bout but was unable to achieve success in the match, ultimately losing to Sanchez by unanimous decision. Diaz complained of a "greasy substance" on Diego's arms that impeded Diaz's takedowns. While no illegal lubricant was ever investigated, Sanchez's hair was considerably wet-looking throughout the fight, suggesting that his hair product may have leaked onto his shoulders. During the televised post-fight interview in the ring, Diaz continued the controversy by declaring that he respected Sanchez fighting ability but did not think he deserved to be there, despite Sanchez's win.
Fighting inside and outside the octagonEdit
Diaz's next fight was against Joe Riggs at UFC 57. Similar to his treatment of Sanchez, Diaz made sure that he taunted his opponent plenty before their fight starting at the official press conference at the event in which Diaz confronted Riggs and the two exchanged words. They continued their conversation at the official weigh-ins in which both fighters had to be separated by UFC president Dana White and other officials present.
Riggs prevailed in a hard-fought battle, winning by unanimous decision and giving Diaz his second straight loss. After the fight, the two were taken to the hospital for observation and post-fight tests. It was there that Diaz confronted Riggs and proceeded to punch him in the face, knocking Riggs to his knees. Riggs then tackled Diaz into a wall and started to knee him when the police arrived and quickly rushed in to separate the two. Neither party, nor the police, decided to press charges.
Return to the UFCEdit
Diaz returned to his hometown of Stockton and participated in the International Cage Fighting Organization's inaugural event, defeating Ray Steinbess by unanimous decision. Diaz was slated to fight in his hometown again against John Alessio when he received an unexpected call the night before the fight from the UFC asking to fill in for an ill Thiago Alves at UFC 62.
After Alessio pulled out, Diaz took advantage of the opportunity, submitting Josh Neer in the third round. Seemingly back in the UFC, Diaz stopped newcomer Gleison Tibau with strikes in his next fight at UFC 65. However even after the win and the reassurance that the UFC would give him another fight, Diaz decided to sign with the Gracie Fighting Championships and leave the UFC. GFC had Diaz scheduled to fight Thomas Denny in January 2007, but due to poor ticket sales was ultimately cancelled.
Diaz was signed to a two-fight deal with Pride Fighting Championships with the first scheduled to be against current Lightweight champion Takanori Gomi in a non-title fight on February 24 in Las Vegas. Pride 33 was Diaz's first fight in the Pride organization and at the weight of 160 lb. While Gomi started the fight strong, once knocking Diaz to the ground, and twice ending up in his guard, the Californian dominated the standup battle with his unorthodox style, picking his opponent apart with quick and accurate jabs and looping punches. At the end of the first round, apparently due to poor cardio on Gomi's part, the Japanese fighter was clearly stunned, throwing much wilder punches and barely maintaining his defense. At one point though, the fight was stopped to check a cut suffered over Diaz' eye. The second stanza saw a continuation of wild punches by Gomi, then eventually taking the fight to the ground and leaving himself open to a Gogoplata submission by Diaz and tapping at 1:46 of the round. This was the second successful Gogoplata attempt in Pride's history (the first performed by Shinya Aoki on Joachim Hansen less than two months earlier at Pride's New Year's event).
On April 10, 2007, the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced that Diaz failed the drug test that was taken shortly before his win over Takanori Gomi, testing positive for marijuana. The NSAC declared the fight a "No Contest" and suspended him for 6 months with a fine of 20% of his earnings ($3,000) won from the fight against Gomi. The Commission felt that the result of Diaz's THC test, an enormous 175, was a contributing factor in his performance during the fight. Commission Chairman Dr. Tony Alamo said that while a result of 15 is considered positive, the NSAC has a threshold of 50 for athletes. He also believes they "feel very comfortable that everyone that tests positive in Nevada is truly positive."
Dr. Alamo went on to say, "Mr. Diaz was 175. This creates a unique situation. I was there at this fight and believe that you were intoxicated and... that it made you numb to the pain. Did it help you win? I think it did." Despite Diaz being surrounded by other athletes and video cameras for several hours before the fight, Alamo gave no explanation for when he believed Diaz could have used marijuana in the hours preceding the event. Diaz himself dismissed the accusation.
MMA Weekly reported that Nick Diaz signed a two year deal with EliteXC, and in his next fight, fought KJ Noons for the vacant 160 pound title. Noons dominated Diaz, dropping him with a right hand and kneeing him in the face, opening up a gash on Diaz's face that would result in a cut stoppage victory for Noons. KJ repeatedly stuffed Diaz's takedown attempts. Diaz lost via doctor stoppage due to multiple cuts on his forehead. A disappointed Diaz left the arena immediately and on his way out he flipped off the doctor from the arena entrance and shoved the camera out of his face. Interestingly, he stated in pre-fight interviews that the only way he was going to lose this fight was from a cut above his eye.
After losing the Noons fight via-doc stoppage due to a cut, Diaz had surgery and had the bone filed down on his eyebrows to prevent any bad cuts in future bouts
Following a tough win over opponent Muhsin Corbbrey at EliteXC's "Return of the KING" event in Honolulu, Hawaii , an altercation between Nick and his brother Nate broke out with KJ Noons and his corner. EliteXC executives asked Diaz to come to the ring and make a statement about a possible title rematch with Noons. Noons, a Native of Hawaii, asked the crowd their opinion, resulting in an echo of boos for Diaz. After Nick spoke over the microphone to Noons, saying, "don't be scared homey," Carl Noons, KJ's father, lunged at him prompting Nate Diaz to throw a water bottle at the elder Noons. The Diaz brothers were quickly escorted out of the cage by a group of security staff. During interviews the next day Nick claimed Carl was intoxicated and overreacting. Meanwhile Carl claimed his incident was prompted by the thrown bottle. Video replay of the event showed Nate throwing the bottle after Carl jumped at Nick. No one was injured as the Diaz brothers left the arena entrance "throwing the bird" to the fans and Noons' corner.
Nick went on to face well-traveled veteran Thomas "Wildman" Denny at the EliteXC Event "Unfinished Business" in Nick's hometown of Stockton , CA. After a sluggish start to the fight, Diaz found his range and punished Denny during the latter half of the First Round. Diaz continued to keep the fight standing and maintained a high-paced tempo for the remainder of the fight, earning an impressive TKO victory over the veteran Denny 0:30 into Round Two.
Diaz was rumored to have a rematch against the current EliteXC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons, airing on CBS October 4 2008. However, KJ Noons and his camp refused to accept the match. Mark Dion, KJ's manager was quoted as saying "As far as Nick Diaz, he's not the No. 1 contender out there.".
With Strikeforce's acquisition of ProElite's assets, CEO Scott Coker had announced that Nick will face off against MMA legend Frank Shamrock at a catchweight of 179 lbs, at their upcoming event Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz in Shamrock's hometown of San Jose on April 11 at the HP Pavilion. Nick was successful in the fight, defeating Shamrock via TKO, due to strikes in the second round. Throughout the fight, Diaz was dominant in all areas using effective positioning on the ground, once mounting Frank in the end of the first round and then finally finishing in the second round due to a body shot crippling Frank to the mat and then following up with punches before referee John McCarthy called a halt to the bout. It was noted that Shamrock came into the bout with a rib injury which was sustained through training and greatly affected his abilities throughout the fight. In the interview he stated "It's hard to hate the guy, he's been doing what I've been wanting to do and saying what I've wanted to say for a long time". His next fight could possibly be a rematch with Lawler, whom he defeated via KO in their first bout.
At Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields Diaz met Scott Smith at a catchweight of 180 pounds. Although Smith took Diaz down once in the first round, Diaz controlled the majority of the bout with his superior boxing, utilizing his reach, stalking jabs and repeatedly punishing Smith with hooks to the body, twice dropping him in the second and third round. Upon landing the body shot that dropped Smith in the third round, Smith assumed a turtle position and Diaz took his back until securing a rear naked choke to finish the bout at 1:41 of the final round.
It was announced that Diaz will be fighting Joe Riggs  at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg taking place on August 15, in which would have been a rematch of their first fight that took place at UFC 57: Couture vs Liddell 3, in which both fighters fought in the cage and then again at the local hospital later in the evening . The fight would have been for the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship but, Joe Riggs had to pull out of the bout due to an adverse reaction to a drug. Diaz was then scheduled to instead face Jay Hieron for the Welterweight Championship. This fight has since been canceled due to Diaz's failure to attain his license after not attending a pre-fight drug test. Jesse Taylor replaced Diaz and the title was no longer on the line, Hieron defeated Taylor by unanimous decision.
Diaz faced Strikeforce newcomer Marius Žaromskis to crown the first Strikeforce Welterweight Champion on January 30, 2010 at Strikeforce: Miami. Žaromskis came out aggressively and the two men exchanged on the feet until Diaz tied his opponent up in the clinch and landed numerous knees to Žaromskis' right leg. Diaz then scored a takedown and looked for a guillotine choke - quickly shrugged off by his opponent. The two men continued to exchange, with Diaz looking the stronger on his feet utilizing his unorthodox boxing skills, until rocked by a Žaromskis left hook and falling to his back. Žaromskis landed few effective shots while Diaz was turtled on the floor, allowing him to recover and stand back up. In the few remaining minutes, Diaz opened up with his boxing range, tagging Žaromskis cleanly several times with combos composed of jabs, hooks and seamless bodyshots; forcing him against the side of the cage where he landed a solid uppercut and continued to punish his opponent. The vast superiority of Diaz's striking skills became more and more apparent, ultimately leading to the referee to stop the contest at 4:38 of the first round. Diaz was then crowned the inaugural Strikeforce Welterweight Champion.
Brazilian Jiu JitsuEdit
Diaz is currently a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie whom he has been training with since he was a teenager. He is accomplished in both gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu. Some of the major titles he has won include the US Purple Belt Open in 2004 and a Pan American Brown Belt Medium Weight Division title in 2005. He also owns a victory over renowned grappler Jorge Patino in competition via kneebar.
He is known for having a very modified sport BJJ style that suits his MMA career very well. Diaz lists his favorite submission as the kimura. He is widely known for his impressive closed guard which he frequently uses in his fights. Diaz currently teaches jiu-jitsu at his and brother Nathan's school in Lodi, CA.
Diaz is also a professional boxer and fights in the Super Middleweight weight class. He made his professional debut in April 2005 against Alfonso Rocha at the Radisson Hotel in Sacramento, California. Diaz was victorious, winning by unanimous decision after four rounds. He has not fought since.
To add to Nick and his brother Nathan's striking skills, they are now being trained by former WBA and WBC World Champion, Luisito Espinosa. Nick has also recently been training with Olympic Boxing Gold Medalist Andre Ward.
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|29||21 wins||7 losses|
|21–7–0 (1)||Win||Marius Žaromskis||TKO (Punches)||Strikeforce: Miami||2010-01-30||1||4:38||Sunrise, Florida, USA||Won vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Title|
|20–7–0 (1)||Win||Scott Smith||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields||2009-06-06||3||1:41||St. Louis, Missouri, US||Fighting @ catchweight of 180 lb|
|19–7–0 (1)||Win||Frank Shamrock||TKO (Punches)||Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz||2009-04-11||2||3:57||San Jose, California, US||Fighting @ catchweight of 179 lb|
|18–7–0 (1)||Win||Thomas Denny||TKO (Punches)||EliteXC: Unfinished Business||2008-07-26||2||0:30||Stockton, California, US|
|17–7–0 (1)||Win||Muhsin Corbbrey||TKO (Punches)||EliteXC: Return of the King||2008-06-14||3||3:59||Honolulu, Hawaii, US|
|16–7–0 (1)||Win||Katsuya Inoue||TKO (Corner Stoppage)||DREAM.3 Light Weight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round||2008-05-11||1||6:45||Saitama, Japan|
|15–7–0 (1)||Loss||K.J. Noons||TKO (Cuts)||EliteXC: Renegade||2007-11-10||1||5:00||Corpus Christi, Texas, US||For Vacant Elite XC Lightweight Championship|
|15–6–0 (1)||Win||Mike Aina||Decision (Split)||EliteXC: Uprising||2007-09-15||3||5:00||Honolulu, Hawaii, US|
|14–6–0 (1)||No Contest||Takanori Gomi||No Contest||Pride 33: Second Coming||2007-02-24||2||1:46||Las Vegas, Nevada, US||Original win via submission (gogoplata) overturned after Diaz tests positive for marijuana in post-fight drug test. Non-title bout. Fight was @ 160 lb catchweight|
|14–6||Win||Gleison Tibau||TKO (strikes)||UFC 65: Bad Intentions||2006-11-18||2||2:27||Sacramento, California, US|
|13–6||Win||Josh Neer||Submission (kimura)||UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral||2006-08-26||3||1:42||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|12–6||Win||Ray Steinbeiss||Decision (Split)||ICFO 1: Stockton||2006-05-13||3||3:00||Stockton, California, US|
|11–6||Loss||Sean Sherk||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 59: Reality Check||2006-04-15||3||5:00||Anaheim, California, US|
|11–5||Loss||Joe Riggs||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 57: Liddell vs. Couture 3||2006-02-04||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|11–4||Loss||Diego Sanchez||Decision (Unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale||2005-11-05||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|11–3||Win||Koji Oishi||TKO (Punches)||UFC 53: Heavy Hitters||2005-06-04||1||1:24||Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|10–3||Win||Drew Fickett||TKO (Punches)||UFC 51: Super Saturday||2005-02-05||1||4:54||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|9–3||Loss||Karo Parisyan||Decision (Split)||UFC 49: Unfinished Business||2004-08-21||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|9–2||Win||Robbie Lawler||KO (Punch)||UFC 47: It's On||2004-04-02||2||1:31||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|8–2||Win||Jeremy Jackson||Submission (Arm bar)||UFC 44: Undisputed||2003-09-26||3||2:04||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|7–2||Win||Jeremy Jackson||TKO||IFC WC 18: Big Valley Brawl||2003-07-19||1||4:17||Lakeport, California, US||Defended IFC United States welterweight title|
|6–2||Win||Joe Hurley||Submission (kimura)||WEC 6: Return of a Legend||2003-03-27||1||1:55||Lemoore, California, US||Became First WEC Welterweight Champion|
|5–2||Loss||Kuniyoshi Hironaka||Decision (Split)||Shooto – 2002 Year-End Show||2002-12-14||3||5:00||Chiba, Japan|
|5–1||Win||Harris Sarmiento||TKO (Towel)||Warriors Quest 8: Young Guns||2002-10-24||2||1:47||Honolulu, Hawaii, US|
|4–1||Loss||Jeremy Jackson||TKO (Punches)||UA 4: King of the Mountain||2002-09-28||1||0:49||Auberry, California, US|
|4–0||Win||Adam Lynn||Submission (Armbar)||UA 4: King of the Mountain||2002-09-28||1||5:18||Auberry, California, US|
|3–0||Win||Blaine Tyler||TKO (Punches)||UA 4: King of the Mountain||2002-09-28||2||N/A||Auberry, California, US|
|2–0||Win||Chris Lytle||Decision||IFC Warriors Challenge 17||2002-07-12||3||5:00||Porterville, California, US||Won IFC United States welterweight title|
|1–0||Win||Mike Wick||Submission (Triangle Choke)||IFC Warriors Challenge 15||2001-08-31||1||3:43||Oroville, California, US|
|Win||Alfonso Rocha||Unanimous Decision||(4), 3:00||2005-04-29||22px California, CA||Boxing Debut.|