Posted by Dave Walsh on September 12th, 2009
If you know this site and myself, you know that the Diaz brothers are regarded as some of the best around. Both are incredibly skilled, yes, both also exude this natural aura around them; they do what they want and could care less what you or anybody else thinks. But the reality is that they are two hard working guys who came from a modest background. The San Joaquin Magazine has what I would regard as an incredible fluff piece on two guys I would never imagine being written about this eloquently. Ridiculous.
Enter Nick Diaz. Almost like the MMA gods were punching out cookie-cutter molds of young men and decided this would be the ideal model for a fighter, both boys are slim where they need to be and all muscle where you’d expect them to be. Long hyped in the media since they broke onto the fighting scene, they both wear the tentatively healed wounds of a fight for ‘every three months since they were 16’.
Inside the ring they’re all nightmare—two separate men, two separate fighters, two different levels of the sport, all bound by blood. Whether it’s their own blood or that of their opponents, MMA affords the fan plenty of both. Where wrestling and boxing both limit fighters to what’s legal and illegal in a brawl, MMA draws the line only at the most inhumane eye gougings and crotch shots. In other words, when you step into the ‘cage’ someone’s leaving on their own accord and someone might have to be carried off the floor. Pummeling opponents with a flurry of punches, kicks, attacks, and takedowns, the sport is relatively new and has become popular in recent years based on a few simple merits—it’s brutal (Nick has been bloodied so many times above the eye that he underwent a new surgery to reduce the ability for that rehealed cut to bleed), and it’s as high adrenaline as a sport can get.
Very understanding of the fact that there’s ‘life inside the ring’ and ‘life outside the ring’, this is where the similarities meet the differences. Polite but not warm, the boys seem to have a calculated amount of personality they are willing to show to a journalist. Never raising their voices above a conversational tone even amidst the thumping of workout music playing in the background, the boys offer up answers to everything I want to know and nothing extra. More important than the Q and A of understanding their training (they compete in Ironman triathlons), and what it’s like to have a brother in the same sport (‘It’s great, I get to learn from his mistakes”), our short sit-down reveals one very apparent thing—they know their goals and they’re here to accomplish them.