Nick Diaz is a man of contradictions. He’s a BJJ black belt who usually prefers to keep the fight standing and throw hundreds of punches. He’s a chronic weed smoker who’s somehow motivated enough to compete in triathlons when he’s not competing in mixed martial arts. And he clearly hates doing interviews, yet his interviews are comedy gold, 100% of the time. Case in point: His latest run-in with Ariel Helwani, which follows the classic three-part Nick Diaz interview format:
1) Show blatant hostility toward the interviewer. Usually that just means looking the other direction while answering questions and giving short, mumbled responses for the first couple of minutes. And he does that here, obviously, but the tension is especially high in this one. “I wasn’t gonna do this interview but they told me I had to,” Nick says as an opener, before laying into Ariel personally. “I feel like you instigate fights quite a bit…that’s your job, but where I come from, y’know, people like that get slapped.” Ariel tries to get the proceedings back on track, saying something about mutual respect, and Nick says “it’s all good, I see how you are.” Great. Only seven minutes to go.
2) Complain about how underpaid he is, especially compared to professional boxers. “I’m the most overworked, overtrained, underpaid fighter,” he says after being asked a completely unrelated question about Paul Daley. “We should get paid like this is boxing. I’m hearing about people like Georges getting paid way more than me, and Manny Pacquiao, and professional boxers getting paid that much money. I don’t even know why I’m doing this anymore. I feel like I get paid way too much money, but not enough.” Huh. I feel the same way about martinis.
3) Rant about how great PRIDE was. “I hope he don’t hit me with a cheap shot,” Diaz says of Daley, “but I understand what it feels like to be held down for three rounds…[your opponent] is avoiding the fight, and he wins the fight. So, the guy who doesn’t fight gets to win…we used to have a whole ‘nother organization called PRIDE with different rules, and I think it worked out way more for exciting fights, and you get to see a lot more technical aspect come out in the fight…we’ve got this whole system going on here and everybody’s bought up the other organization and thrown it away, tried to hide it. And it’s just wrong. I feel like the Japanese, they kind of knew how the martial arts should be.”
Aloof and long-winded. Confrontational and shamelessly sentimental. A contradiction, wrapped up in a riddle, contained within the body of a dude from Stockton, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, sticking a middle finger in your face. That is the Nick Diaz way.
Bonus: The club jam version, via Gabbie: