The softer side of Diaz? Nate happy ref pulled him off Maynard
The Diaz brothers are two of MMA’s most relentless competitors. They’re always coming forward, always punching, kicking, working toward ending someone else’s night in a most uncomfortable manner. They also love getting under their opponent’s skin with words before a fight, and taunts during it. But if you catch them at the right moment, they can be downright introspective and, yes, even compassionate.
Nate Diaz showed the latter after Saturday night’s Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale main event, unprompted, when he was asked about his TKO win over Gray Maynard.
The whole fight lasted just 2:38 but Diaz pummeled Maynard for a long piece of that, battering him with an unanswered barrage of power punches that had Maynard seemingly out on his feet for several harrowing seconds until referee Yves Lavigne finally stepped in to halt the action.
"My mission was to win and it’s always to win," Diaz said afterward. "That was the plan and I’m glad it went that way. I thought they should’ve stopped it. I’m glad they stopped it when they did. This is a rough sport and I don’t think we should be taking shots. It’s not like, ‘I want to kill that guy,’ and talk some crazy s–t like the rest of these people. I did want to win. That was the plan but I’m glad they stopped it when they did."
Maynard has taken an excessive amount of punishment over his last few fights, and has been knocked out in three of his last four.
It’s not like, ‘I want to kill that guy,’ and talk some crazy s–t like the rest of these people.
While Diaz has never been known for real knockout power, he said before the fight that his brother Nick reminded him to look for more solid strikes if he found himself in moments where he had Maynard in trouble. That’s exactly what happened and Diaz picked his spots, noting that a straight left was the first strike to change the fight, knocking Maynard down about two minutes into the first.
Ironically, Diaz would have preferred to be elsewhere. His 10th high school reunion was held on the same night as his match with Maynard, and he said "it would have been cool" to be there but he had to fight because he needed the money.
Apparently though, he has a whole new plan for the next step in his career, which he divulged when asked what he wanted to do next.
"I’m thinking maybe I’ll sit on the sidelines for a long minute until somebody gets injured and fight for a title like everybody else is doing," he said. "I think my problem — I do have a lot of losses on my record and other people have criticism and s–t to talk about me losing fights — if you take a look at my record compared to other people’s record, for every two fights I fight six or seven times. If they’re fighting the same amount and more consistent like I am, they’re going to have more losses than me. So maybe I’ll sit around for a while and wait for an injury to pop up."