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Video: Diaz Says He Needs to Forget Penn is One of His Biggest Role Models If He Wants to Beat Him

(Video courtesy of YouTube/HDNet)

HDNet caught up with Nick Diaz this week ahead of potentially the biggest fight of his MMA career against BJ Penn this weekend at UFC 137 and the former Strikeforce welterweight champ revealed the biggest key to beating the resilient Hawaiian. According to the surly Stockton native, he needs to first and foremost go into the fight not looking at Penn as one of the guys he looks up to most in the sport or else he might show him too much respect Saturday night.

“For this fight…my biggest obstacle I think is kind of overcoming my own personal faith in BJ Penn, because you know, after all he’s pretty much a guy I, you know… I don’t look up to a lot of guys, but I’ve looked up to BJ Penn for a long time, but he came from my school, okay? You understand? He came from my academy. Whether he says he does or whether he says he doesn’t, that’s where he came from, so… That’s where he started learning jiu-jitsu,” Diaz explained. “I actually had his first mixed martial arts fight on video. I don’t even know if he’s ever seen it, but I had it on a tape — like a cassette tape and I used to watch that before anyone even saw him fight in the UFC. We’ve trained together, too before so that’s kind of… a lot of that is really the difficult part about this fight, other that that he’s a great fighter. It’s probably going to be a lot harder for me fighting this guy because…it makes it a lot easier for a guy like Georges [St. Pierre] to go out their and hold him, stall for the rounds, but I go out there and I fight. He knows me and I know him too. He knows what I do and I know what he does too, so…I wouldn’t have picked this fight if I had my choice, that’s for sure.”

As far as his prediction of how he sees the fight going, Diaz doesn’t see it being an easy challenge for him and he isn’t necessarily picking himself as the winner.

“I think he’ll probably try to slip the jab and throw the overhand right, make a body lock or a single-leg takedown. Maybe push me against the fence. I think I’m gonna have to deal with a lot of that type of stuff. It’s BJ Penn, you know, so it’s a really difficult fight, especially for somebody like me who is actually going to go and fight and not just try to hold him and win rounds,” Diaz said. “I would say I have the advantage if this fight goes into the later rounds because I think that he’s coming up in weight and I’m more of an endurance athlete in general than most MMA fighters. But there’s not really many late rounds because it’s only a three-round fight, so…”

Nick says that he feels a lot of extra pressure, not to perform, but to play the game like the other fighters do and while he is slowly realizing that if he toes the line just a bit more, he’ll open some doors for himself as far as sponsors and the media goes, he doesn’t like the rules that fighters are expected to abide by.

“There’s always extra pressure on me. I don’t get a lot of support…not fan support, just support as in I don’t get a lot of sponsorship. I mean I do…I’d like to thank my sponsors. They hook me up. I make good money from my sponsors, but as far as people coming to me and trying to find me and offer me gigs and things like interviews or press or publicity, I don’t have a lot of people helping me out in that department, so I just gotta do the best I can with it and try to get in there and do some of the stuff that these other guys are doing,” he pointed out. “They’re all on camera and doing the whole Twitter thing with each other. I think it’s kind of funny or whatever. I think that it’s pretty funny that a lot of these guys play along with it. I’m playing by the rules or whatever. It’s like everybody that fights in the UFC and then they fight each other. I don’t agree with that. I don’t think that’s good for fighting.”

He says that in spite of his disappointment at being dropped from his title fight with St-Pierre — which likely would have been postponed due to GSP’s recent knee injury — Diaz says Penn is a much more dangerous opponent which will likely lead to a much more entertaining main event Saturday night.

“I believe BJ is a much more dangerous and better fighter than GSP. If I lose a fight to Georges, it’s him holding me and not fighting me the whole time. If I lose to BJ Penn, he’s probably going to take me out with a right hand or go on top some way and take position. He’s gonna look to take the mount, take the back, put a choke — finish the fight. Georges is just gonna look to just do enough to win the fight [like] every fight that he does. I thought that would have worked out with me, the same way that it does with a lot of other fighters. I think I have the tools that it takes to make something happen in five rounds,” Diaz said. “It’s real disappointing for me that I’m not fighting Georges St-Pierre. I was supposed to fight for the title. I didn’t go back on that. It wasn’t me. They went back on that. People want to blame me for spoiling that, but they spoiled that deal for the fans. It wasn’t that I spoiled that deal. You tell me what to do and I’ll do it. Nobody’s telling me, ‘Hey, show up for this press conference or you’re not fighting.’ It’s like, ‘Yeah right.’ Like I’m not gonna show up when people are gonna know that I don’t want to fight him. I do want to fight. That’s why I’ve been fighting my whole life, training and representing my team. I’m not trying to let my whole team down and the rest of the fans too for that matter.”

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zhchdd- October 28, 2011 at 8:04 am

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humperdinkal- October 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm
All I've got to say is if Diaz loses, and Penn gets the chance to fight GSP for the third time, how does that make sense? Penn is a great fighter, but he got crushed by GSP. here's hoping for a Diaz win. Diaz vs. GSP would be a very interesting fight. How many times does GSP have to fight Penn for DW to realize it makes no sense? GSP would crush PEnn once again. Boorrinnnnggg. Sorry fellas:):)Ofcourse, as DW always says, he sets up fights the fans want heh? The day that Johnny Bones vs. Anderson Silva will be the day Dana White stops cursing.
Sopapo- October 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm
So nick is the real winner in UFC 137. By gettin the old switch he is the one still fighting and most likely, for a title shot. Instead of waiting for months, which im sure he wouldnt like to.
KarmaAteMyCat- October 27, 2011 at 7:37 am
How isn't Diaz a true Martial Artist? The guy trained multiple styles of Martial arts and trains year round. I take no disrespect either guys I love debating this shit with you but I don't understand that is it his Demeanor? Does that make him less of a Martial Artist? Just curious. Oh and that Snowballs chance is coming to fruition this Saturday Intercept :)
SnackDaddy- October 27, 2011 at 6:20 am
Sniff. *wipes tear*

I didn't know the Diaz brothers were capable of emotions like this.
intercept440- October 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm
@karma lol dude.. if by thinking diaz cant win vs. gsp makes me a nutthugger then i guess i am a nut hugger......
honestly brother i dont think he can win vs gsp.. i get this by looking at his past fights and his past fights opponents. then take a gander at gsp and you will immediatly see the difference in skills vs. gsp opponents and diaz opponents..
honeslty i think diaz has a snowball chance in hell of beating penn, but if he does more power to him man, dont get me wrong i like watching diaz fight he is a tough bastard, but i dont think he can hang with the top tier guys.
i think penn will beat the shit out of him..
if he beats penn then ill be on the bandwagon son.
and if he gets the shot vs gsp.. i'll root for his pothead ass too.
i just dont see it happening.
and we dont shit on him for his interview , which is probably the most coherent he has ever done... he gets shit on because he blames everything on others , when in reality which even you have to aknowledge is because of his attitude towards his employer, which was to show the fuck up to his PR dates to promote the fight.
dude i like him he is a rebel.. but being a rebel in the ufc is like taking a fucking bowie knife to your own throat...
next thing ya know , he'll be fighting shark fights next to josh neer.i personally dont give a fuck if he is a role model (clearly he isnt in most circles). but to each his own.
and yeah in a fight ANYTHING can happen.. just look at how gsp lost the title a few years back.
all diaz has to do is play the game, and then win the fight and then we will all see how well he does vs the champion, ( thats if the champion defeats condit). which he may , or may not.
@medium rare i agree with you 100% dude . people need to use other role modles than sports figures.
sports figures that are role models usually end up texting there junk to random bitches.. or end up murdering the wifes, or killing pitbulls for profit.(just using history there)
peace out cp nation im going to go drink some beers and watch some shitty tv
monkeyforce3000- October 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm
Wow, that was actually a really good interview from Diaz! Good job Diaz. I used to be a hater who turned fan during the Daley fight. Stoked that you let us in on this interview and spoke from the heart.
Giblets- October 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm
I love watching Diaz fight, and just because the guy isn't a linguist doesn't mean he is retarded either. He would know more about fighting, the philosophy of fighting and is at the top of his profession, which a very very small percentage of people can every say no matter what they do.

But he did fuck up the GSP fight which I have been looking forward to for years now, and if he doesn't get past Penn I will keybaord shit about the guy until I die!
smellypiratehooker- October 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm
@ karma
To be concise I think the reason that the " gsp nutthuggers " get so angry is because Nick is constantly discrediting the accomplishments that Gsp has performed. You being a martial artist should understand that there is a certain amount of humility in martial arts which gsp personifies. Yes, Nick is entertaining but not a true martial artist. all do respect Karma
KarmaAteMyCat- October 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm
It's astonishing that when Diaz gives a respectful interview everyone still finds something to shit on the guy for. I have to take a line from Forrest Griffin and say "If you want a Hero go buy a Tom Brady poster and put that shit above your kids bed". This is combat sports that interview is as good as you haters are going to get.
Why is it every single person hot on GSP's Nutts has to find an excuse why Nick can't possibly win that fight? Seriously? Do you guys stand in front of a mirror and rehearse that shit before you type it out on the thread? Lets give this credit for what it is " A Fight" and guess what happens in "A Fight" ANYTHING that's what because thats the mystique of it all if we NEW what was going to happen we wouldn't watch this shit, Well I might considering I just love the sport but a lot of you guys with the low attention spans sure wouldn't.
So Nick Diaz didn't show up to the Press conference and you automatically assume you have all the facts? Hilarity Personified, the dude has one of the sickest and most pure forms of boxing in MMA his hands are on a level that I think Might be better then Penn's I know I'll get flamed for that comment but this is how I see it.
All the questions come to an end on Saturday and you know the funniest part is even if Nick wins the haters are still going to hate. Guess what though? Nick Diaz doesn't care and he's angry and he's the guy who comes out hating his opponent, He spends his entire training camp hating them.. He's the perfect gladiator, Zero emotional connection, hunt and destroy.
skeletor- October 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm
@Intercept440 - I wasn't directing the offended comment directly towards you, just allot of the people who seem to hate on Diaz because he says "you know" allot and generally doesn't give a fuck about most stuff.
On the other hand judging by your GSP bro hugging and all around sensitivity I would have pegged you more for a andy roddick fan. (that's sarcasm by the way)
Miles- October 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm
Never heard that before Kimbos Bread. Send this guy a fucking T-Shirt immediately
smellypiratehooker- October 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm
When Diaz loses to Penn they should give him to Rory MacDonald so he can complete the collection of " Wins over Diaz's ". Like baseball cards, there always worth more when ya have the full set.
Kimbos Bread- October 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm
Anyone get a count of how many times Diaz said "you know" during that interview?
MediumRare- October 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm
@ skeletor: Couldn't have said it better myself. (And that is saying something 'cause I say shit like a motherfucker. Nawamsayin?)
Diaz has the PERFECT attitude for a cage fighter. Intellect can be a downright handicap in this sport. He's resentful and arrogant, cocky and bold. He doesn't give a fuck.
Whoever the fuck thinks ANY sports professional should be a role model is looking in the wrong place. Look to entrepreneurs, statesmen (not slimy politicians), inventors and scientists for your role models and we'd have a much less retarded culture.
Diaz is just plain entertaining. Ask yourself this: you ever go past a Nick Diaz video on this site? Didn't think so.
MMAposeur- October 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Shit, I thought I was pressing play on a Geico commercial.
intercept440- October 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm
@skeletor lol .. i wasnt offended in the slightest my good man..
i guess i didnt realize the sarcasm of the shitalk on gsp.
i want to see gsp crush diaz, but i dont think well ever get that chance cause i dont think he'll even get past penn.
i like watching nick fight also its always a good fight.
and agreed diaz is a dumbfuck and he is the one who cost himself the shot cause he is a shitty employee .. i agree with ya there 100 %
i dont know how ya thought i was offended about diaz being not well spoken though lol.. myabe you read someones else's post for that part.

and dude have you not seen seen the hot bitches that play tennis. that would be the only reason i would want to play is check them out in those little sweaty shorts...
hey ben cant you fucking set the captcha thing to at least list words in fucking english... i dont know hat the fuck its saying in russian
209Soldier- October 26, 2011 at 3:11 pm
gsp is a pussy ass bitch, he aint no soldier
IronClad- October 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm
I love Diaz, Penn is still kind of a douche for making excuses on getting absolutely handled by GSP. But for real though..when are these two gonna stop hugging each other's nuts and act like they are fighting each other. Stop it already, we know you both respect one another, we know you both share some of the same fans and this whole fluffing has gone too far. Your both bad ass mother fuckers and will eat baby children to get the victory. Start getting some testosterone going and hype this fucking fight. I swear to god they will end up "feeling" each other out for 15 minutes and this shit will be the biggest bust of two big names to go head to head. I hope I am wrong.
skeletor- October 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm
@Intercept440 - I was actually just talking shit about GSP ducking anyone.
That being said I do think that the whole debacle created by Diaz being an unprofessional irresponsible employee of a major company gained the event more exposure then anything Diaz would have said in the actual press conference.
I am a huge fan of Diaz mainly because of the way he fights. I also am entertained by the way he acts though. Some people just want there athletes to be role models, which is fine in baseball or football or something like that. But if you get offended because some cage fighter is not a well spoken educated humble person you should probably stick to tennis.
Stak40- October 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm
Intercept-maybe if you have to point out that your huggin nuts, you might just be huggin nuts a lil...possibly a bro hug?!?
intercept440- October 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm
not huggin nuts in the slightest either ^
intercept440- October 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm
@skeletor... normally your thoughts on issues are fairly close to the mark... but i got to tell ya bro ....your way off this time....GSP has fought Everyone who was considered the best every time he is offered a fight...
he has never ducked anyone.
gsp is a bit of a health freak... he is the type who would not have even the chance of a small injury getting worse.
which is why he isnt fighting
skeletor- October 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm
@Crap Factory - Diaz not showing up for the press conferences didn't make it any less of a good fight. In my opinion it probably got the fight more press than anything Diaz would have said if he was in attendance.
The only people happy about the fight being changed were GSP nut huggers and GSP himself. Then once he realized he was fighting someone as dynamic as Diaz he faked a knee injury so he could take more time to train and develop a game plan.
Deadpanda- October 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm
A) Why would anyone want to sponsor an avid/open pot smoker who has the orating skills of a 3rd grader & the temperment of a hormonal teenage girl?

B) Has Diaz ever seen one of his own interviews? Is he aware that he's offered to slap Ariel Helwani, one of MMA's leading journalists, for asking relevant & intriguing questions? Is he aware that he doesn't get in contact with writers after they contact him about putting together an article on him? This is why no one wants to touch Diaz with a 10 meter pole.

C) If you want media coverage... you have to show up to the media coverage... If you want camera time... you have to smile for the camera.

D) Shut up. Just shut up & fight like you say you want to. The more you open your mouth the deeper you dig your media grave. Let Cesar Gracie do ALL of your talking; just pretend you don't speak English like Anderson Silva & let your manager handle the press.