Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz takes a lot of flak for not acting how people think he should act. The Stockton native has a chip on his shoulder and speaks his mind, often calling someone out for something or other — this rubs some people the wrong way.
Don’t count UFC color commentator Joe Rogan amongst that number though, as he recently told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani during an appearance on The MMA Hour that he thinks Nick Diaz is just fine the way that he is.
“I like Nick Diaz as Nick Diaz,” said the commentator/comedian. “I don’t think he has to do anything different.”
Rogan was near unending in his praise of the elder of the fighting Diaz brothers, asserting that the Stockton kid should be and would do very well in the UFC taking on the promotion’s top fighters.
“I think what Nick Diaz needs is big fights. I think what Nick Diaz needs is promotion and big fights,” he said. “Obviously, I’m biased when it comes to this whole Strikeforce-UFC thing, both under the same umbrella, but what I hope it leads to is super-fights. I want to see Nick Diaz against the very best in the UFC. I would love to see Nick Diaz vs. Josh Koscheck. I would love to see Nick Diaz vs. Georges St. Pierre.”
While remaining very praising of St. Pierre’s skills and reign of dominance, Rogan explained that Diaz brings an added element to the table — a kind of fearlessness cum hubris which has mostly suited him very well in his career and lends him an intriguing mystique.
“I think he’s one of the best fighters in the world, I really do,” he said. “He’s one of the most exciting, and that’s for sure. Just think about what kind of a champion fights a guy with his own style and takes it to him the way he did to Paul Daley. I mean, he threw caution to the wind and went out there and banged with Paul Daley and took him out with his own style. [It was] an incredible fight. I am a huge Georges St. Pierre fan, and I think he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but I couldn’t imagine him employing that kind of a strategy in a championship fight and making it so exciting. Nick Diaz is a wildman. He just goes in there guns blazing, and he doesn’t have to. He has an amazing jiu-jitsu background, we saw that in the Cyborg fight, as soon as it went to the ground and he was on his back, he locked up Cyborg in an armbar, and you know, Cyborg is a real experienced veteran. Nick is a phenom. He has improved dramatically.”
Currently, Diaz is exorcising his frustration with MMA by fielding offers from boxing promoters to step into the squared circle. Whether he will or whether this is just a negotiating tactic remains unclear, but either way, he has our attention.