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Don’t Call it a Comeback, Diaz Has Been Here for Years

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Pat yourself on the back if you got the LL Cool J reference. If not, take a walk around the block until you come to your senses. Puns aside, maybe it is a comeback of sorts; after all, Nate Diaz has been inconsistent for the last few years. When he’s at his best – he’s a world beater and can absolutely contend with, or defeat, anyone in the Lightweight division. Make no mistake, Diaz has been a top ten fighter for most of his career and right now he looks better than ever.

 

What transpired at UFC 196 was no fluke. It was not a one-off performance or a “lucky shot” that set up the submission victory. The end result was simply the collision of two born-warriors in a kill or be killed situation. It just so happens to be a predicament where the Diaz brothers thrive.

 

On paper, it was easy to underestimate Nate Diaz prior to last Saturday’s match. That’s not to say that Conor did, but the Vegas oddsmakers certainly didn’t think much of him as a -400 underdog. It makes sense, somewhat, considering he’d only won 2 fights and lost 3 over the last 2 years. He’s been called one-dimensional, overrated and even a choke artist that can’t close the deal in high profile fights.

 

Well, if a nasty one-two punch and a sick guillotine make him one-dimensional, that recipe has served him well, just ask Jim Miller, Michael Johnson or Conor McGregor. The latter two of the aforementioned opponents represent his 2-fight win streak, in which a disciplined, motivated Diaz performed to his potential by showcasing a skill set and gameplan for which few have an answer.

If the same Nate Diaz that dominated Johnson and submitted McGregor continues to show up, he will undoubtedly wear UFC gold before the end of 2016- he’s that good.

Seems like a bold statement considering how badly he was beaten up by the current lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos when they met in December 2014. However, word on the street is that Diaz went into the fight with a serious injury which would explain his dire performance. As one would expect, he didn’t pull from the fight and certainly never made any excuses as to why he didn’t perform. And no one would expect him to do either of those things.

How well he does in the next phase of his career really depends on where his head’s at from now on. Among other grievances he’s aired at Zuffa brass in the media, the biggest one was money. That Diaz only received $20,000 show money and $20,000 win money (supposedly) in his December fight against Michael Johnson is an absolute travesty; especially in this day and age where UFC’s global imprint, multiple platforms, and merchandising are just icing on the already massive cake they are drawing from live gates and pay-per-view buys.

In other words, Zuffa is raking in 8 figures on a monthly basis and with the explosive growth, the overhead has increased by a mere fraction of the revenue. But, fighter pay is another discussion for another day. As for Diaz, he scored his biggest payday of his career with $500,000 show money as well as a Performance of the Night bonus and whatever undisclosed back-end income he’ll receive as the numbers come in. Good for him. He deserves it.

Assuming he stays motivated and continues his current path, the upward momentum of the Diaz brand will make his financial woes a thing of the past. As for his fight career, it looks very promising. Naysayers can no longer accuse him of choking under pressure because ..well, he just finished Conor McGregor on 10 days notice. Enough said. Just take a glance at his track record and consider his brutal TKO of Gray Maynard, submission of Jim Miller, lopsided beatdown of Cowboy Cerrone and his performance in the last two fights, and it puts into perspective what Nate Diaz can accomplish at his best, that is: he can beat anyone in the 155-lb division.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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