5 reasons why Nate Diaz is a global UFC superstar

Nate Diaz
Nate Diaz
Modified 01 Apr 2021

Nate Diaz is the quintessential 'OG'. The American mixed martial artist from Stockton, California, is a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and a renowned triathlete. He is a brash, loud-mouth and a 'gangster' who is the most likely in a crowd to call a spade a spade while using a few expletives.

Be it verbally mocking his opponents in the middle of a fight, whipping out a joint during a live press conference or slapping UFC President Dana White (for promotion), Nate Diaz is a complete legend.

On that note, let us take a look at five (of many) reasons why Nate Diaz, the younger brother of Nick Diaz, is a global UFC superstar.

#5 Nate Diaz was The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner

Nate Diaz celebrates during a fight in The Ultimate Fighter 5.
Nate Diaz celebrates during a fight in The Ultimate Fighter 5.

Unlike his elder brother Nick Diaz who has shunned the media, Nate Diaz has always seemed to embrace the camera, something that has helped him become a fan-favourite.

The Diaz brothers were both offered a slot on the fighting reality TV show, The Ultimate Fighter. While Nick Diaz rejected the offer, Nate Diaz proved to be more camera-friendly, making the right decision of his career.

Nate Diaz took part in The Ultimate Fighter 5 and did not just perform well. He went on to win the show after going through an excellent four-match win streak. Nate Diaz went on to defeat all four of his lightweight opponents via submission, winning the show and earning an entry into the UFC.

The younger Diaz has also gained a lot of fans by establishing his 'gangster' attitude on the show.

#4 The Stockton Slap

Nate Diaz slaps Conor McGregor.
Nate Diaz slaps Conor McGregor.

The number of times Nate Diaz has 'Stockton slapped' his opponents is unreal. The Diaz brothers are both known for slapping their opponents during MMA fights, a move they have labelled the 'Stockton Slap'. However, Nate Diaz has probably used the move more, hitting his opponents with the move during a counter right or left while going, "Stockton, b**ch".

Nate Diaz's 'Stockton Slap' moments have come against great strikers in the MMA like Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Johnson and Conor McGregor.

The most notable 'Stockton Slap' moment by Nate Diaz came against one of the best strikers in the UFC, Conor McGregor. In his first fight against McGregor at UFC 196, Nate Diaz slapped 'The Notorious' at least half a dozen times, mocking him right after with his finger pointing at the Irishman's face.

The younger Diaz brother has also hit UFC President Dana White with his famous 'Stockton Slap' in a video that went fairly viral.

#3 Nate Diaz beat Conor McGregor on a 11-day notice

Nate Diaz posing for the camera after UFC 196.
Nate Diaz posing for the camera after UFC 196.

Conor McGregor had stormed the MMA world after knocking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds for the UFC Featherweight title. Aldo had reigned the featherweight division for almost ten years, but McGregor made a run through him as if Aldo were nothing.

In his next fight, McGregor was set to take on the then-UFC Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. However, the fight was cancelled due to an injury to Dos Anjos. Replacing the champion, Nate Diaz was scheduled to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 196 on a short 11-day notice.

Nate Diaz didn't just show up for the fight as an underdog. He went on to defeat Conor McGregor via submission in one of the greatest upsets in the MMA world. After rising victorious with a bloodied face after thrashing McGregor, Nate Diaz was asked how he felt about his win.

Replying to Joe Rogan, Nate Diaz said what has now become a set of iconic words, "Eh.. I'm not surprised, Motherf***ers," sending Joe Rogan in a fit of laughter and the crowd into a loud blast of cheer.

#2 Nate Diaz reimbursed a fan his bet-money

Nate Diaz (right) with Jorge Masvidal
Nate Diaz (right) with Jorge Masvidal

Nate Diaz had gone against welterweight fighter Jorge Masvidal in 2019 at UFC 244 for the BMF title. After a violent to-and-fro duel, Nate Diaz lost the fight via TKO (via doctor stoppage) after his eye was cut with a few deadly blows by Masvidal.

A Nate Diaz-fan soon posted on social media that he lost his rent money after betting the money on Diaz for UFC 244. What ensued won the hearts of not just Nate Diaz fans but also MMA followers.

Nate Diaz connected with the fan and reimbursed him his bet money, throwing some extra cash, too, just in case.

The fan took to social media to reveal that the Stockton superstar, who called himself 'gangster', actually had a heart of gold. The fan said:

"Update for everyone asking me, Yes Nate actually helped me out. Nate is the true OG BMF; he sent me more money than what I lost on my bet and I'm using it to buy from his cbd company "Game Up". Nate is a really cool guy when I made that post. I didn't think twice about it. I didn't even think he would see it and I even let him know that I wasn't really sleeping in my car. It was more of a joke, but it was awesome the way he responded and the fact that he refunded me and gave me some extra cash just goes to show he is a man of the people !!!"

#1 Nate Diaz is a cannabis activist

Nate Diaz smoking during UFC 241 pre-fight press conference
Nate Diaz smoking during UFC 241 pre-fight press conference

There have been a lot of controversies with sports athletes getting suspended for the possession of cannabis. However, Nate Diaz is not someone to shy away from anything, even it means whipping out a joint on live TV and lighting it up.

A true 'OG', Nate Diaz is bound to be endlessly loved and hated for his antics, both inside and outside of the octagon. After putting an end to Conor McGregor's winning spree, Nate Diaz was seen at the UFC 196 post-fight press conference vaping what he had called a CBD vaporizer. Later, Nick Diaz had revealed that it was “straight kush, he was smoking kush”.

During layoffs between MMA bouts, Nate Diaz is often found smoking cannabis with his brother at various events, open training sessions and even press conferences. Indeed, he is one of the leading cannabis activists in the US, impacting the substance's consumption policies in MMA.

Nate Diaz has been a vocal advocate of cannabis usage in the sports industry. He is a hit globally for raising his voice for the issue, despite being penalised by the USADA and the UFC.

Published 01 Apr 2021
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