Win or lose, Nate Diaz is an electrifying fighter with the UFC. Despite his win / loss ratio being less than incredible, he is a huge fan favorite no matter where he fights an I think this all began when he beat Conor McGregor when no one thought it was possible.
No one thought he could beat Leon Edwards either and for most of the fight last night, their opinions about that sort of things seemed justified as Diaz, while certainly being entertaining, was taking a lot more damage than he was dishing out.
Diaz getting all bloodied up is nothing new. He just bleeds a lot and of all of the fights of his that I have seen I have never seen him get to the end of one without blood all over the place. He simply cuts easy but it doesn't really seem to phase his game. He was bleeding so much against Edwards that I was worried that the ring doctor was going to call it off the way that a ring doctor called off that stupid BMF (emphasis on the "BM") fight that happed between him and Masvidal.
Leon controlled the fight in terms of strikes for sure, but just like I predicted, Nate spent most of the fight chasing Leon down as Edwards did his usual "run away and counterstrike" tactics. Yeah yeah, I know this is part of the game but it doesn't mean that I have to like it.
However, there was one part of this fight where the crowd was going absolutely bananas and it happened in the last minute of the last round. Diaz, clearly losing on points, landed a couple of hits that clearly staggered Leon as his legs started to turn to spaghetti and he struggled to stand up.
With around a minute left in the 5-round match Diaz, instead of immediately pouncing, took an opportunity to taunt his now rattled opponent by pointing at him and signaling to the crowd. Seriously, it is a full 6 or 7 seconds that Diaz waits before he even starts pummeling a clearly "seconds from KOd Leon." Leon at this point was not capable of protecting himself very well and try as he may to run, his legs weren't really working so well for him. Diaz merely needed to land a couple more heavy strikes on a guy that suddenly found his greatest strength (avoiding hits) completely gone. Yet Diaz did not do this. Instead he was playing to the crowd and with just around 10 seconds left it appears as though Diaz goes for a takedown.. WHY TF would he do that?
I was standing in my living room shouting at the television "hit him! What are you waiting for, F**king hit him!"
It was deafening during that last minute and for the fans I am sure this was one of the most (if not the absolute most) exciting moments of the entire pay per view. Diaz lost by unanimous decision and honestly, the last 2 rounds didn't even need to happen for that to be true as Diaz clearly lost each round because Leon Edwards is a more technical fighter.
I see some people out there claiming that Diaz was too tired to finish it and to these people I say bull-hickey! Nate Diaz doesn't gas out. The guy does triathlons for fun when he isn't training to smash faces. There is no gassing this guy out and as far as being knocked out is concerned he only has one of those on his record and it was a TKO that Diaz, of course, protested. This was also back in 2013. He might bleed a lot but the guy is far from done once that happens. He seems to enjoy it. I've seen plenty of fights where Diaz won the fight but if you stood him next to his opponent and said to someone that had not seen the fight "which one of these guys won the fight?" They wouldn't have chosen Diaz. He looks a mess at the end of nearly every fight he is involved in.
The above mashup is not in real time and is edited for copyright reasons and even then I would be surprised if it is up for very long but if you missed the fight just watch the first 15 seconds of this. Diaz literally just stands there for nearly 10 seconds gloating when he should have been pouncing. He missed his best opportunity to finish the fight in those 10 seconds and I can't help but wonder why.
The conspiracy theory guy in me thinks there might have been some backstage agreement between the two because this was certainly a bizarre matchup because this isn't even Nate's normal weight class. It also wouldn't surprise me that if given the crazy odds that were getting put up pre fight if Diaz himself, or someone he knows bet that the fight would go the distance with Edwards winning by decision. You can bet on just about anything and when you get into specific methods of victory your rewards are even better. I know it is conspiratorial but I think there is more at play here. Diaz didn't really go for it at the end and I wonder why.
Diaz knew he was way down on points and when the unanimous 50-45 ruling was read off the scorecards no one was surprised. However, this didn't stop the fan favorite from raising his arms in victory because he put on one hell of a show, that is for sure. I'm just pissed that he didn't make amazing history by really pouncing in that last minute. It kind of haunts me and I am still upset about it right now, haha.
Either way, Diaz is a massive draw and he will continue to get big fights despite the fact that he has 2 losses in a row now and doesn't seem to really pursue fighting all that often. It is worth noting that his previous loss was due to doctor's stoppage because Nate was bleeding too much - which is kind of his thing.
If you guys out there have any opinions about this I would love to hear it.