As is generally the case, Conor McGregor is dominating the headlines ahead of his next bout, with the Irishman set to light up UFC 196. Nate Diaz has stepped in to fill the gap left by the injured Rafael dos Anjos, and we have all the information you need to know about the American…
Residence: Stockton, California, USA
Height: 6’0″ (182cm)
Weight: 170lb (77kg)
Leg Reach: 38″
Diaz began fighting aged just 14 after learning the ropes from his older brother, Nick Diaz. He is an MMA veteran, having made his professional fighting debut at WEC 12 in 2004.
Diaz beat Manny Gamburyan to win The Ultimate Fighter 5 Tournament in June 2007 he was given his second UFC fight in September of the same year where he beat Junior Assunção. He has gone on to rack up a 12-8 win-loss record in the UFC.
He fought for the UFC Lightweight Championship in December 2012, but was defeated by Benson Henderson via unanimous decision.
His last fight was against Michael Johnson in December, returning after more than a year out of the Octagon. He beat Johnson by unanimous decision.
A lanky southpaw, one of Diaz’s biggest weapons is his striking. He doesn’t possess the power of some other fighters, but makes up for it through volume.
Diaz has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and he should have the advantage over McGregor in this area. Eleven of his 18 career wins have come via submission and the UFC have rewarded him with ‘Submission of the Night’ bonuses five times.
The American fights with great heart and always gives it everything, a fact that has helped to establish him as a fan favourite.
His training regime focuses on triathlon work, boxing, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
How they compare
McGregor will be up against an opponent with superior height and reach for the first time. Diaz is 6’0 with a reach of 76 inches, while McGregor stands at 5’9 and has a reach of 74 inches.
Both fighters are lefties.
War of words
Diaz and McGregor had engaged in their fair share of trash talk even before the fight was confirmed, with Diaz ranting after his victory over Johnson: “Conor McGregor, you’re taking everything I worked for motherf***er. I’m going to fight your f***ing a**.”
In response to Diaz (and others) calling him out, McGregor took to Twitter with a message:
Line them up on their knees with their hands out. I want them to beg me. pic.twitter.com/YCYf0QslNR
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 20, 2015
When it was confirmed that Dos Anjos would not be fit to face McGregor, and that Diaz was a contender to replace him, the American posted this:
He’s going to have to get on his knees and beg… — Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) February 23, 2016
Nice work, Nate.
Diaz has adopted a pescetarian diet in which he eats fish but no other meat. He also does not eat diary.
Diaz was fined for wearing jeans to the weigh-in for UFC on Fox 17 in December, violating the fighter outfitting policy. Fighters are required to wear Reebok gear, the UFC’s official clothing partner, at public appearances.
Nick Diaz has been suspended by the UFC for marijuana use on three occasions. Nate appears to have some sympathy for his older sibling, stating: “It’s not that embarrassing of a thing. It’s from the earth. You plant it. You smoke it.”
He prefers being called ‘Nathan’ rather than ‘Nate’.
Jean-Claude Van Damme was one of the reasons Diaz got into fighting as he was a massive Van Damme fan. He said of the actor: “I’d act like him, do kicks like him, do the splits. I was a Van Damme wannabe!”