While the casual fan is looking to buy this Friday’s UFC 141 event to see the return of Brock Lesnar, all the MMA addicts out there are looking forward to the co-main event between Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone as much as they are the main event.
Diaz and Cerrone seem to be a fight made in matchmaking heaven, as they both have entertaining and effective stand up to go along with their solid jiu-jitsu skills, but the legitimate dislike for one another has made this fight even more exciting than it already was.
The beef between the two fighters started around UFC 137, where Cerrone was on the card set to fight Dennis Siver and Nate was in town to support his brother Nick prior to his fight with B.J. Penn.
Apparently, Cerrone went to shake hands with the younger Diaz, but Nate blew him off and walked away, something that irked “Cowboy.”
Diaz has defended his actions at UFC 137 by saying that he isn’t interested in becoming friends with guys who he may eventually have to fight, and he alluded to the fact that he has “accidentally” made friends with guys who he later had to compete against before.
After they seemed to downplay the feud at the UFC 141 pre-fight press conference on Wednesday, the two squared up for the traditional staredown and before we knew it, words were exchanged and Diaz flipped Cerrone’s hat off of his head and pushed the Jackson’s MMA based fighter.
While many have criticized Diaz’s actions at the press conference, they have to see things from Nate’s point of view.
The Diaz brothers are part of the rare breed of fighters still consider each Octagon appearance as a fight and not a competition, and they would rather not fight guys who they like.
Diaz himself said after his bout against Takanori Gomi at UFC 135 that he would have rather fought someone else because Gomi was one of his favorite fighters and a similar statement was made by his brother about Penn.
While some call their actions unprofessional or refer to them as “street thugs,” the Diaz brothers are just a different breed of fighter than what the public is used to, and they refuse to change what they are for the sake of their reputation.
At this rate, Diaz will likely be painted as the villain going into the fight, and for some fans he may exhibit an attitude that makes him just that.
But for others, it’s not that Diaz is a bad guy or that he is trying to create drama, the fact is that he’s nothing more than misunderstood.
Nate Diaz isn’t trying to create a rivalry with Cerrone or attempting to disrespect him before they throw leather on Friday, he’s just doing what he’s done his entire life and preparing for a fight.