Nate Diaz is a fan-favorite, an octagon gangster and one of the most entertaining names in the history of the UFC. From his middle finger salute as he locked in a triangle-choke submission against Kurt Pellegrino to smoking a joint at the UFC 241 open workouts, the Stockton native never fails to get fans and pundits talking.
Aside from providing us with one of the most memorable finishes and results against Conor McGregor in 2016, Diaz has also picked up wins over the likes of Anthony Pettis, Michael Johnson, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller.
UFC 263: Diaz vs. Edwards
At UFC 263 this weekend, Nate Diaz will make his highly-anticipated return to the octagon. He'll face welterweight contender Leon Edwards in the UFC's first non-title and non-main event five-round fight. With both men possessing the ability to throw hard on the feet and Diaz's always-entertaining style, this one has the potential to be a classic.
The winner of this fight could well go on to face Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title in the near future. Ahead of Saturday's PPV, let’s refresh our memories of Nate Diaz's skills inside the octagon. Here are his three most brutal finishes in the UFC.
#3 Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor - UFC 196
When you think about memorable moments and results in the UFC, Nate Diaz's win over Conor McGregor at UFC 196 in 2016 is one of the first to come to mind. Not only is that because he secured a huge upset victory against a man previously unbeaten in the UFC, but also because of the manner in which he did so. The submission was as brutal as they come.
Filling in for the injured Rafael dos Anjos, Diaz entered the cage with the UFC's first simultaneous two-division champ on just 11 days notice. Given his performance, you'd have been forgiven for thinking he prepared for months. Towards the end of the second-round, Diaz hurt McGregor with a couple of straight lefts. As the Irishman changed levels and initiated a grappling exchange, Diaz jumped on him.
After initially trying a guillotine, Diaz landed some hard shots to a flattened McGregor, before taking his back and locking in a brutal rear-naked choke. The submission was Diaz's ninth in the UFC and tied him second at the time (now fifth) for the most submission victories in the UFC, behind only Royce Gracie.
#2 Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis - UFC 118
Not many fighters would boast a submission win such as Nate Diaz's choke against Conor McGregor, and it is still not be their most brutal. Diaz's 2010 guillotine against Marcus Davis tops that list for The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner.
For this finish, we have to venture 15 fights back in Diaz's UFC career. Heading into the final minute of their matchup at UFC 118, Diaz submitted a beaten and bloody Davis. The 36-year-old pieced Davis up on the feet for the majority of the fight, but for the finish, he resorted to his specialist submission skills.
After controlling Davis in top position, Diaz transitioned into a brutal guillotine that left Davis twisted and unconscious. After a few lifts of the arm, the referee stepped in to stop the fight. Not many chokes have been as brutal since.
#1 Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard - The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale
For those who only associate Nate Diaz with impressive grappling and submission wins, take a look at his win over Gray Maynard in The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale headlining fight. It's the most brutal finish of his career, and certainly up there in UFC history.
The stoppage wasn't a flatlining punch or a bone-breaking submission, but it was a barrage of powerful punches against a man effectively out on his feet. The word onslaught has rarely been as appropriate as it is when describing Diaz's 'Knockout of the Night' against 'The Bully'.
After initially rocking the former collegiate wrestler just minutes into the opening round, Diaz followed up with 15 seconds of solid strikes as Maynard stumbled left and right against the cage. The fight could have clearly been stopped sooner. After Yves Lavigne stepped in, Maynard attempted to walk but collapsed to the ground.