Nick & Nate Diaz: Two Elite Warriors in a Game Ruled by Athletes

Todd JacksonSenior Analyst IJanuary 6, 2012

Knockout power? Who needs it?
In the west coast lair of Cesar Gracie, there roams two ferocious lions with plenty of killer instinct. The Diaz brothers are Gracie trained Jiu Jitsu wizards with a flair for the dramatic, and a raw approach to fighting that does nothing if it doesn't entertain.
Even with their blades sharpened on the mats at the Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is only one weapon they carry in their arsenal. The other threat that has been par for the course in many Diaz brother fights is the relentless aggression unleashed at the end of what can only be described as peppering strikes that batter and debilitate opponents.
The open wing style made famous by elder brother Nick Diaz has been nothing new in hardcore MMA fan circles. His ability to both run his mouth and run his game simultaneously inside the cage has made him famous as a vicious warrior with a lethal striking game backed up by an even more dangerous prowess on the ground.
While Nick has been smacking opponents around with smack talk and physical abuse for years, his younger brother Nate has been making his own waves lately as yet another hardcore Diaz component who can back up as much trash as he can talk.
Both men hail from what is known as the Scrap Pack. A group of elite fighters including Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields among others.
The paths of Nick and Nate have taken different turns in their respective careers, but their common approach to the game would lead any newcomer to MMA to peg them for brothers out of any lineup. With a style that rubs many a fight fan the wrong way, these two have pummeled and grudged their way to a place that few will ever attain in this sport.
They are highly recognizable figures in the game and their combination of brutality, flare, and success sets them apart from many of their competitors in the sport of MMA. Plenty of critics can paint pictures as to why these brothers leave a bad taste in their mouth, but at the end of the day like many defeated foes the critics can never deny the ability and performances they display.
The record speaks for itself, more so recently than ever before.
Consider for a moment the near four year win streak Nick is on finishing nine of eleven opponents.  Or Nate's five fight of the night and three submission of the night honors. But it is their respective recent bouts that really signal that perhaps their best accolades have yet to be written.
The name B.J. Penn strikes fear into even the greatest of fighters. Very few men are walking this planet who can say they didn't give heavy consideration to saying yes to a fight with Baby J. Fewer still can actually say they beat him.
Of the ones who did beat Penn, not one can claim they ran the type of beating on him that Nick Diaz did at UFC 137 in a fight of the night performance. There is no question that great fighters have found a way against Penn in the past. But no one beat him down as badly as Nick Diaz did.
With a ruthless onslaught of endless strikes and highly technical ground scrambles the two went to war for three rounds, but it was clear midway through the fight that Penn was at the mercy of Diaz. No mercy was afforded to the all-time MMA great.
A true warrior, the Hawaiian refused to be stopped but the writing was on the wall in the UFC welterweight division; there was a new bad boy in town and he rode in on a dark horse.
For Nate Diaz his most recent UFC performance was an absolute stunner to many in the MMA community. A man simply known as “The Cowboy” in MMA circles is by far and away considered one of the top lightweights in the world.
While Donald Cerrone may still be one of the top lightweights in the game, any momentum he carried was stolen away by a game and relentless Nate Diaz at UFC 141 in, yep you guessed it, another fight of the night performance.
Setting a compustrike record Nate Diaz pummeled a stunned Cerrone in front of an unsuspecting MMA community with deadly precision that saw him land 82% of his strikes as he connected on 258 of 314 attempts. Go ahead fight fan, drink that in for a minute, we will wait.
Diaz outstruck a man with a 28-0 Muay Thai record. That is quite a feather in the cap of a guy who many thought only had a sick ground game to offer.
So all things considered, trash talk, rabid Diaz fans, fed up Diaz critics, filthy ground wizardy and peppering strikes that lack power but equal disaster more often than not, it becomes quite compelling to analyze the Diaz brothers.
Eddie Bravo said it best when he described Nick Diaz to Hurtsbad MMA. “You can't create that. You can't create Nick Diaz. That guy has some serious warrior spirit or something. In another life that guy was f@#$%^g Genghis Khan or something.”
While he was talking about older brother Nick, it very much applied to both the Diaz brothers.  Coming from a man who has forgotten more about MMA than most of us will ever know, it's hard to argue.
Simply put, the knockout power may not be the allure, the trash talk may be a turn off for some, but when it all comes down no one can deny how entertaining and amazing the Diaz brothers are when they compete.
Stockton, California is a hard town, and for two kids raised there, no one can really understand what they went through coming up and what made them conduct their business the way they do. But all in all that process combined with the tutelage of legend Cesar Gracie has created two of MMA's top warriors.
Not just athletes, not just fighters, but in the words of Bravo "Warriors". Take them or leave them but their scraps speak for themselves.


This article originally featured at Hurtsbad MMA. Follow us on Twitter @HurtsBad