Nate Diaz is an American mixed martial artist born in 1985. He competes in the lightweight division but has also had fights att welterweight. He is the younger brother of Nick Diaz and like his brother, is one of the biggest stars in MMA. He has a black belt in BJJ under Cesar Gracie.
His rivalry with champion “Notorious” Conor McGregor has made him a superstar. Nate Diaz won season 5 of The Ultimate fighter and shares the record for most fight night bonuses with Joe Lauzon. At time of writing he is the only one to ever beat McGregor in the UFC.
Nate Diaz’s career before the UFC
Nate Diaz made his MMA debut in WEC in 2004 and defeated Alejandro Garcia. He lost his next fight but rebounded with 4 straight wins. Hermes Franca defeated Diaz in his next fight, but got the chance to show his skills on the 5th season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Nate Diaz on The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter season five featured the lightweight class. Diaz was chosen by Jens Pulver to compete against B.J. Penn’s team. Diaz faced Rob Emerson in the first fight and won by rear-naked choke.
His next opponent, Cory Hill was submitted via a triangle. Diaz faced Gray Maynard in the semi finals and succumbed to a guilliotine in the 2nd round which secure Diaz’s spot in the finals.
Nate Diaz in the UFC
Nate Diaz made his UFC debut against teammate from Team Pulver Manvel Gamburyan. Gamburyan injured his shoulder after a takedown attempt and Diaz was the winner of the season. Diaz kept on winning against top competition like Kurt Pellegrino, Alvin Robinson and Josh Neer, all of the wins came by submission.
Nate Diaz lost 2 straight by decision against Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida, before he rebounded with a finish of Melvin Guillard. He then rematched Maynard who took a split decision from him. Diaz rebounded with a wins over Rory Markham and Marcus Davis at welterweight. and a welterweight win over Marcus Davis.
After being dominated by Dong Hyun Kim for 2 rounds, Diaz came back strong in the 3rd but still lost on the score cards. His next opponent Rory MacDonald defeated Diaz and send him back to lightweight.
His first fight at lightweight was against his brother’s earlier opponent Takanori Gomi. Diaz submitted Gomi by armbar and got a “Submission of the Night” bonus. After playing alot of mind games on Donald Cerrone, which made him use all his energy in the first round. Diaz won by unanimous decision.
Diaz then became the first man to submit Jim Miller by guilliotine.
Nate Diaz vs. Benson Henderson for the lightweight title
With the win over Miller Diaz received a title shot against then reigning champion Benson Henderson. Henderson used his wrestling and kicks to dominate Diaz en route to a unanimous decision. Diaz was finished in his next fight when Josh Thomson connected with a high kick to the face.
Diaz had a rubber match with Maynard and won by TKO in the first round. Diaz missed weight for his next fight against Rafael dos Anjos and lost by decision. He defeated Michael Johnson by unanimous decision and received “Fight of the Night” honors.
Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor I & II
Diaz took a fight on 11 days notice against Conor McGregor at welterweight. The fight started in a furious pace with both fighters landing hard blows. In the 2nd round Diaz hit McGregor with a hard punch that made McGregor shoot for a takedown. McGregor was no match for Diaz on the ground and Diaz submitted the superstar by rear-naked choke, giving the Irishman his first loss in the UFC.
The fight earned both fighters Fight of the Night awards and Diaz also got a Submission of the Night. After the victory he uttered the now infamous words:
“I’m not surprise motherf*cker!”
The two rematched at UFC 202: McGregor vs. Diaz II. The fight was even with both fighters landing heavy blows. McGregor eventually won by majority decision and Diaz got his biggest pay check to date, $2 million USD. The rubber match is inevitable.
Nate Diaz’s next fight in the UFC
Nate Diaz hasn’t fought since his bout with McGregors, he is waiting for the trilogy fight. At time of writing there is no date set in stone but the fight was rumored for the end of the year card or St. Patrick’s day.