March 8, 2016

UFC 196: The Mystique of the Diaz Brothers Continues To Grow

By Raphael Garcia

In a weird and twisted sort of way, the Diaz brothers are the mixed martial arts version of the Manning brothers. Just as Peyton and Eli Manning have created many different story lines for NFL fans to enjoy during their ups and downs, Nick and Nate Diaz continue to do the same in MMA. When looking at the pair of Stockton natives and their entire mystique, it’s very difficult not to find something to love. Nate’s victory in the main event of UFC 196 is yet another moment that left fans shaking their head in amazement at what the Diaz brothers have been able to do. Win or lose, Nick and Nate consistently create “must watch” television or headlines that show why MMA is such a unique sport.

In a sport in which personality is becoming cachet, Nick and Nate have been at it since before anyone was paying attention. Anytime a microphone or camera is set up in front of a Diaz brother, the fans immediately take notice, simply because no one ever knows exactly what is going to happen. After Joe Rogan asked the first question to Nate after his submission of Conor McGregor, he didn’t let the world down with his simple answer: “I’m not surprised, motherf*ckers.” Rogan and the entire MMA world could only laugh.

Whether it’s Nate holding out for more money and being removed from the UFC rankings, or Nick battling against the Nevada State Athletic Commission, their stories capture attention every time. Yet the question remains as to what makes these two men so intriguing.

Perhaps it is their unwillingness to conform. Nick and Nate have both spent time in the doghouse with UFC executives. They are two fighters who look out for their own best interests rather than putting the UFC brand first. Even though Nate stepped up to take this fight on extremely short notice that was due to the fact that this was a major opportunity. Stopping McGregor allowed him to earn $100K in bonuses on top of his still-undisclosed fight purse. Nick’s dislike of media obligations forced the UFC to pull him out of UFC 137, but when he eventually fought against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158, he built himself into such a draw that the card brought in nearly one million pay-per-view buys. And this was coming off of a loss.

UFC President Dana White may try to downplay the star power that comes with being either Nick or Nate Diaz, but the reality is now laid bare for the world to recognize. Nate’s victory at UFC 196 even bodes well for Nick’s eventual return, as more people will be interested simply due to the name “Diaz.” Both of these men have an appeal that pushes beyond the eight sides of the UFC’s Octagon. It doesn’t matter whether the sports world fully understands the mystique or not, the fact remains that both of these men are stars, and they are the unconventional stars that the UFC needs.

UFC 196
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz: Nate Diaz def. Conor McGregor via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:12 of Round 2.

Click the stars to rate this fight.


UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz (formerly UFC 196: Dos Anjos vs. McGregor, UFC 197: Dos Anjos vs. McGregor) took place on March 5, 2016 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC 196 was.

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