(Video courtesy of Zombie Prophet)
Before the dust had even settled from the organization’s debut on FX, the push began for UFC 143‘s headliner. The battle for the interim Welterweight belt is getting the full “Primetime” treatment with an in depth, behind-the-scenes look at Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. If you were too busy to catch the first installment of the series, bully for you. We’ve got the video above and some notes after the jump for the soft-headed.
It looks like someone at the Zuffa office got a thesaurus for Christmas. “Enigmatic” is the early buzzword to describe Diaz and the sort of behavior that we’ve so lazily branded as “crazy”.
The narrator cites Lodi, California as Diaz’s home. Did the former Strikeforce champion finally take those community college courses on purchasing a house, move out of Stockton proper, and relocate to the “Zinfandel Capital of the World”? Don’t fret, readers—Lodi is still officially in the coveted 209 area code.
Having previously complained that no members of the media want to visit him and get to know him, how does Diaz welcome the all-access film crew to his gym? By literally shutting the door on them so he can meet with his coaches and train, of course.
“He doesn’t like the pretentiousness of what he has to do in the media, and he’d rather not do it. He doesn’t want himself opening up. He’s actually trying to close parts of himself, preparing himself for war. They’ll ask him to go do a press conference with his adversary, when in his mind he’s preparing himself to beat the hell out of that guy in the cage. And if you’re going to tell him to sit there and make nice with the guy, he has trouble coming to terms with that.” Cesar Gracie
“Nick understands something: the fight starts when you sign on dotted line. You see the staredowns and everything, and guys get a little crazy. You really can’t out-crazy Nick Diaz, you just can’t. He’s going to do things to cause a reaction from his opponent. It’s literally like he’s playing a high-power chess game.” Cesar Gracie, adding fuel to the rumors that the winner of Diaz-Condit will take on Garry Kasparov sometime in June.
“I don’t think he’s a bad guy at all. Is he trained to go and talk in front of the camera? No. He is not a speaker; he is not a poster boy; he is not a salesman. He just likes to do what we do. He likes to fight.” Val Ignatov, confirming our suspicions that Diaz hasn’t been formally groomed for dealing with the press.
“I think the things that brought Carlos to MMA are what brings a lot of young men to MMA. And that is you have this drive, this need, this testosterone, this anger, and it’s got to go somewhere.” Greg Jackson
“Nick definitely has holes in his game. He kind of makes up for that by just being tough, by being able to take a lot of punishment. The question is whether he’s going to be able to take as much punishment as I’m going to dish out.” Carlos Condit
“Carlos was never the fastest, he was never the strongest. He was never really the most technical. But what he had from a very, very young age is an incredible competitive spirit. He hated to lose.” Carlos Condit’s dad, who could easily fill in for “The Most Interesting Man in the World”.
“Back in the day, so this is 21 years ago when I had Nick in my class, it’s just the way he was. Nick was Nick, and Nick was going to do what he was going to do. And if he felt like doing that at that moment, that’s what he was going to do.” Diaz’s second grade teacher.
“I pulled the fire alarm in class. I don’t know why I did that. I was just standing by it, and I was screwing with it, and I knew it was a fire alarm or something. I was in second grade. I just didn’t really understand how a fire alarm worked, cause I would just kinda mess with it, and I kinda started, I didn’t mean to pull the fire alarm, but I was screwing with it too much. And I ended up pulling it, and I was like, ‘Oh no, I did not just do that!’ And I was the only one standing there. I’m like, ‘it went down’. I was like, she’s like, ‘you pulled it!’ And I was like, ‘oh.’ It was bad.” Diaz, reliving an event which, despite being a relatively common and innocent childhood prank, seems to have left deep emotional scars that haunt him till this day.
“It didn’t surprise me. I was like, ‘Oh, Nick!’ Since all of this I looked on YouTube and saw some videos of him because I haven’t seen him since he was a kid . He’s the exact same. He doesn’t make eye contact. He talks very slow and deliberate. He takes a breath between words. I mean when I saw him on that video he was the exact same kid.” Diaz’s second grade teacher, whose shocking refusal to use adverbs explains how Nick ended up fighting in a cage for a living.
“They had an issue with my attendance already, because I didn’t have good attendance anyways, because I didn’t want to show up at school and end up having to blast somebody. And you don’t know if you’re going to get shot or stabbed or jumped at school because that’s what happens to everybody else. It’s not like I’m, oh I’m paranoid or something. I’m not paranoid…” Nick Diaz, sounding just like every paranoid person we’ve ever known.
“Sometimes he gets upset. When you ask me why he gets upset, it’s his inability to express himself verbally. That’s why he’s a fighter. But when he gets in that ring he’s a poet. A poet in motion.” Steve Heath, Diaz’s last MMA coach, hitting the nail on the head.