The Half-Guarded Truth
By: Mike Coughlin
Nick Diaz is a Scorpion (and you all know that story, so I won’t explain it)
It’s 3:15 on Friday afternoon. I’m at work. I’m bored. I want to kill time until I go home for the day. I decided I should write to kill said time. What to write about was an easy decision: tomorrow’s UFC. What to say? I have no idea. What follows will be as much a mystery to me as it will be to you. Stream of consciousness works for Nick Diaz, I suppose it shall work for me.
Diaz fights for the welterweight title. It’s a bit absurd, given that he lost his last fight, and then was suspended for a year due to a drug failure. I’m not all that up in arms though, because it’s not my company. It’s not my money. And if I didn’t care for the fight, I wouldn’t watch it. If St. Pierre really wanted the fight, that’s cool with me. He’s the champion, he should get to pick a fight every now and then.
Diaz has been himself in the build-up to the fight, which is to say he’s been incredibly entertaining. He spews out a car-wreck of nonsensical musings whenever he speaks, but it’s always fascinating. He’s going to get slaughtered tomorrow, don’t misunderstand me. He can’t wrestle and GSP can. His BJJ is really good, but GSP is a bit of a monster to tap. And his striking is fun, but it’s all volume based and doesn’t incorporate innovative techniques such as “kicking.” So, he’ll show up and lose. Soundly. After he loses, he’ll likely have a microphone thrust in his face, which will result in approximately the following promo: “Look, like, whatever. I like Georges, ya know? I never had a problem with him. He’s a good fighter. People act like I’m a bad-guy but that’s just bullshit. I like fighting. No one wants to fight me. They just hold me down. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Georges and he’s good fighter but no one will fight me. Whatever.”
His face will be swollen while he says all this.
Styles make fights though. Heard that one before? Yeah. Cliches are great crutches when you’re being lazy and just pulling a Diaz with your writing. Still, it’s totes true. Diaz has a style that is non-stop “try try try.” If he’s standing, he’ll walk forward towards GSP, probably yelling obscenities and taunts, and try to throw a thousand punches. When he’s taken down, he’ll look for submissions. He’ll fail at those submissions, but he’ll still look for them. He’s kind of screwed, because if he does manage to get the better of St. Pierre standing, GSP will just take him down. And if GSP doesn’t feel comfortable on the ground, he’ll keep it standing. And if both areas prove a pain in the ass, Georges will just smother him against the cage. For GSP, it’s about winning (a novel concept for professional cage fighting). If it’s boring, that sucks. I don’t think he wants to be boring, but I think he wants to not get punched in the face more than he wants to not be boring. St. Pierre will do what he has to in order to win. And he will win. And then he’ll fight again, probably later this year, and make millions and millions of dollars all over again.
Diaz will have made a ton of money too. If he doesn’t pull in seven figures for Saturday, then something is weird. I don’t know if he’ll even understand what kind of money he’s made. Nick seems like the kind of guy who could have $10,000,000 in the bank but still live in a one bedroom apartment with a shitty mattress he got on sale from a thrift store. Not because he doesn’t understand money, but because he’s someone who really values stability and the comfort of sameness. You have a better explanation for why he bitches and moans about having to jog past “rich people’s houses” when he’s obviously making rich people money?
On Sunday, those who don’t like Nick will say, “Well, that’s over now. We don’t have to deal with that idiot again.” But, they will. Because Nick doesn’t go away. Years ago, he was getting into low-level MMA feuds with fighters that got so personal that said antagonist’s girlfriend named their child “Nick” to spite her then-boyfriend (that guy would later go to jail for rape – basically, you have to be a rapist in order for Nick to the good guy in your feud). He threw a shoe at someone, like an Austin Power’s villain. He attacked someone in a hospital after the fight because, well, why not? He started a near riot on national TV. He became the first (and possibly only) fighter to be admonished mid-fight by a referee to shut up. He lost a title shot because he missed a press conference. (He learned from this and missed subsequent press conferences.) After his then biggest career win (over Gomi) he failed a pot test. After his highest profile fight (Condit) he failed one again. He’s blatantly run away from drug tests at other times. And the lesson he learned? Nothing. He still boasts about smoking pot, has said in recent interviews that he’s been smoking more than ever, and that he doesn’t think he’ll get tested by the UFC (which is like the easiest way to ensure you do get tested). And, after all this, his reward? A world-title against one of the sport’s best and a bunch of money in his pocket.
Nick Diaz may be insane. He may have anxiety issues. He may be a dickhead. He may be a lot of things. But, this is all known. If he keeps acting up, and keeps getting rewarded, don’t blame him. Blame Dana White. Blame the UFC. Blame the frogs, not the scorpion. Or just enjoy the fight because that's all it is: a fight. It's a half hour of entertainment on a Saturday night. And Nick is nothing if not entertaining.
Mike Coughlin is a Bear.