"Yeah? What do you hear about Echevierra and the Diaz brothers? What about them?"- asked Frank Lopez to a visibly annoyed Tony Montana.
Public Enemies for most. The Bad Boys of Mixed Martial Arts. 209's most real, The Diaz Brothers. Ruthless. Ambitious. Fascinating. Gangsters.
Just a bunch of words that one would use to describe the involuntary similarities between Scarface's Tony Montana and the UFC's Diaz Brothers.
Nick and Nate are arguably two of MMA's most controversial yet enchanting figures. Loved by many, hated by plenty, the one constant notion that The Diaz Brothers have maintained over the years is their habit of making headlines, often for the wrong reasons.
Described as Stockton's finest, both Nick and Nate Diaz love fighting, be it inside or outside the UFC Octagon and there are very few people in the sport of MMA, who are capable of gaining attention to such an extent, regardless of a fight inside the cage or for a brawl happening outside of it.
The Diaz boys are incredibly talented and remain quite passionate about fighting. Elder brother Nick, understandably the more mature of the two, has given us fight fans some of the finest classics in UFC history, be it against Anderson Silva, Paul Daley, or Robbie Lawler.
Nick's style of fighting usually revolved around three things, wit, edginess, and most importantly, fury. Trust me when I tell you, the elder Diaz brother's "don't give a f**k attitude" is absolutely loved by hardcore fight fans, especially every time Nick decided to blatantly mock his opponent inside the Octagon, during a fight.
Don't believe me? Look at how he treats he best UFC Middleweight Champion of all time, Anderson Silva, during the pair's main event showdown at UFC 183.
However, their undying passion towards fighting has probably been a vital reason for their misjudgment in the fighting community, but come to think of it again, and neither Nick nor Nate care about what you think about them!
"Don't be scared homie"- one of Nick Diaz's iconic callouts!
Elder brother Nick was the first of the two to step foot into the MMA game in 2001, as he submitted Mike Wick via Triangle Choke in his debut. A product of the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy, Diaz quickly went 4-0 in his pro career before suffering his first loss in the game to Jeremy Jackson. The same loss which down the line, played an essential role in his UFC career.
However, prior to that, Diaz recovered from his only loss, defeating Jackson in a rematch, in a win that saw him get picked up by the UFC. And, in his promotional debut, he once again dispatched Jackson in what was an initial boost to his career in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Shortly before the official UFC debut of his younger brother Nate (With the exception of TUF 5), Nick competed in the Land of the Rising Sun, stepping up to challenge Pride Lightweight Champion, Takanori Gomi in a Catchweight bout at Pride 33. The contest was in favor of Gomi in the opening round, but you know what they say, never count out The Diaz Brothers till the fight's over. Nick rallied a comeback in the second and eventually stunned Gomi and Pride fans by submitting the latter via the Gogoplata Choke, one of the rarest submission moves in the game.
If anyone still had their doubts, well Nick Diaz had just proved all of them wrong and well-and-truly established his place as a household name in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. Whereas, in the meantime, younger brother Nate was in the initial phase of his MMA career and got a crack at The Ultimate Fighter Season 5....
"He's the most underutilized fighter in MMA. Period. In terms of his like star-power, like capitalizing on it. I don't think the UFC even knows how f***ing huge Nate Diaz is. And Nick, his brother Nick"- said Joe Rogan.
Despite his elder brother Nick trying to prevent him from following his footsteps into the fight game, Nate Diaz decided against it. I mean, when you're a Diaz, it's pretty much impossible for someone to speak against you, once you've made up your mind.
In 2007, Nate Diaz entered The Ultimate Fighter Season 5, and right from the get-go, MMA fans realized that this Nate Diaz guy was a character, solely based on the antics that he pulled-off while living with his fellow fighters under the same roof. Not only did Diaz compete in TUF 5 but he ended up winning the whole thing, and that too in classic Nate Diaz fashion.
And, there it was, enter Nate Diaz into the UFC!
While brother Nick was busy crafting his legacy, Nate Diaz broke into the UFC's Lightweight Division and took the promotion by storm. If you want me to put in a simpler way, one simply doesn't mess around with Nate Diaz, regardless if you're surrounded by a cage or not, you simply don't!
'Cause trust me when I tell you, if Nate Diaz signs up to harm you, then he's definitely sticking to his words, even though if it's on 11 days notice. Ring a bell?
“I'm not surprised, motherf***ers”
When Joe Rogan had said that Nate Diaz was a big superstar and the UFC probably didn't realize it, he was probably spitting the very truth. Sure, Nate was a beast inside the cage but did he have the same cult following as his brother Nick? Maybe not but on December 20, 2015, all of that changed within the blink of an eye.
In his comeback fight inside the Octagon, Diaz put on a clinical performance against Michael Johnson at Lightweight and in the post-fight interview, Nate gave the world the most iconic callout of all time, when he accused UFC's biggest superstar Conor McGregor of taking everything he had worked for. Statement made!
Now it was time to walk the walk. The stage was set, UFC had banked on Diaz's callout and put together one of the highly-awaited fights of all time and that too on 11 days notice, as Nate Diaz stepped in to face Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 196 after Rafael dos Anjos had pulled-out.
The fight started-off in Diaz's favor, who clearly dominated the fight in the early stages. But McGregor isn't someone whom you'd expect to give up that easy. The Irishman showed signs of a comeback and courtesy of Diaz's scar tissue, 'The Notorious One' kept himself in the fight, despite being just 5 minutes into the bout. As round 2 began, it didn't take too long for Diaz to finish things, as he put McGregor on his back, wreaked havoc on his face, and submitted him via the rear-naked choke.
And there it was, Nate Diaz, on 11 days' notice and without a full training camp, had turned the entire MMA World upside down! And, he truly wasn't surprised!
Growing up in some of the toughest streets in America, Nate and Nick Diaz certainly had a different perspective towards life than the common man. A perspective that neither I nor you could probably ever understand. The Stockton based brothers dedicated their entire life in sharpening their skills as wild brawlers and mastering the game known as Mixed Martial Arts. Their honor towards this game and the fact that they enjoy brutalizing people in the cage is probably what kept them going for so long, and it definitely is one of the reasons why they have such a huge fan following in the world of MMA.
Like Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone once said, The Diaz Brothers' approach towards the fight game is similar to their approach in life. Every time the two brothers took it to the cage, they've made sure to put their absolute best in the Octagon and not give a sh*t about other people's opinions.
Through the years, The Diaz Brothers have achieved a lot and more importantly have established two very unique storied careers, via the streets of Stockton, to the ring in Japan, till the Octagon in Las Vegas. Regardless of their numerous controversies outside of the cage, Nick and Nate remain and will go down in history as two of the most unique warriors of all time.