When I first saw Nick Diaz fight back in the EliteXC days I thought he was a thug, guy who was looking for attention, and that he didn’t respect the sport. Fast forward to today and my thoughts on him have changed drastically.
You can still blame him (which most will) for not showing up to the GSP Press Conference and all the other media events he refused to attend. Nobody is questioning the inability for him to do other duties as a fighter. But I think it was too much too soon for Nick and after watching UFC Primetime the personality becomes clearer.
Nick Diaz has had different childhood than most people have gone through. Without growing up with his biological father has to be tough on anybody and not knowing what he was going to do with his life after dropping out of high school, can make anybody’s head spin.
Nick was looking for something to occupy his time and from the footage that was aired every gang wanted him. He wasn’t scared of anybody or anything, which led him to the path of mixed martial arts. Fortunately, for him it was the best career move for a person in his situation.
Anybody can have a tough time in their life and it’s how they make the cards they were dealt work, in order to be happy. Nick Diaz can throw the middle fingers up in the air, talk a bunch of trash and even wanting to fight at a moment’s notice. The thing is many perceive him as an insult to the sport to what he does and doesn’t do but in reality he doesn’t care because it’s all for himself.
Many in sports or being a big name in today’s society aren’t happy with the media attention because they don’t want it. They just want to do their job to the best of their ability and head back home. I think this Nick in a nutshell. He doesn’t care for the bright lights, the social media talking about him and what the “experts” say. Nick just wants to enjoy his life without the stardom that comes with it when success begins to reign down.
The GSP situation where he missed the presser and nobody could find him was something I think was just too soon for him to grasp what kind of stage he is fighting on.
Dana White was obviously disappointed with him at the time hoping that this fight would take place and draw in great numbers for his business, but a fight that a lot of fans wanted to see. The build-up was there and GSP was saying he wanted this fight more than ever. But with Nick, I think he was hesitant to talk to media because he didn’t want to say the wrong things and get embarrassed. So Nick decided to go into full hibernation mode and not wanting to deal with anybody.
Eventually Dana found him and talked with him and I’m sure Nick explained his situation and they worked out an agreement. They eased him into things instead of throwing everything on his plate at once and ignoring the lifestyle he wants to live. You can’t blame either one for not knowing how much the media and publicity affected him. Nick wants to just fight and ignore everything else.
During the UFC Primetime many of Nick’s old teachers talked about how he was rough around the edges and that he was the toughest person in his class. But there’s another side to Nick that many haven’t seen and that he wants others to succeed.
Putting on karate classes with his brother Nate is just one of the things he gives back to his community and friends. His personality isn’t a shell as many think; it just takes time to understand who he wants to be.
Sure the middle fingers and other taunting is disrespectful, at the same time I think this is Nick’s way of accepting the other things he has to do besides fighting. It’s more of a self-trigger knowing that he is close to doing what he wants to do and ignoring the day’s leading up to the bell ringing.
Leading up to this fight against Carlos Condit you can still hear the hesitance in his voice when responding to questions, but it’s a step in the right direction.
You can’t fault Nick for acting the way he is and the possible anxiety issues he deals with. MMA is all about fighting when it’s all said and done and he just wants to do that with nothing added to the equation.
When he enters the cage he is the 209 leader, but when he leaves and goes back to Stockton, California he is another person with a very different personality. Many haven’t seen the other side of Nick Diaz, because there are more than just what happens in 5 minute rounds.
I was wrong about Nick Diaz and the way he made me perceive him as a “gangster”. He’s hardly that but more of a person wanting to do his job like any other citizen in this world. He likes it his way with no distractions.
You don't have to respect the way he acts but there's always more than just what we see on TV. Nick Diaz is a perfect example of that and calling him is a "thug" is the furthest from the truth.