Nate Donald Diaz (born April 16, 1985) is an American professional mixed martial artist currently competing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Diaz is the younger brother of former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion and WEC Welterweight Champion, Nick Diaz. Prior to signing with the UFC, Diaz competed in World Extreme Cagefighting, Strikeforce, and Pancrase. As of 7 November 2016, Diaz is #5 in official UFC lightweight rankings.
Diaz was born and raised in Stockton, California. He went to Tokay High School, and at the age of 14, he began training in martial arts with his brother Nick. Both Diaz brothers are advocates for cannabis. They currently run a Brazilian jiu-jitsu school in Lodi, California (Gracie Fighter 209).
Mixed martial arts career
Prior to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Diaz competed mainly for World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). In 2006, at WEC 24, he fought for the WEC Lightweight Championship against then-champion Hermes Franca, losing by submission in the second round. This was the last event ever held by WEC before it was acquired by Zuffa, LLC, then-parent company of the UFC.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighter 5
Diaz was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 5, which exclusively featured lightweights, fighting on Jens Pulver's team. In the preliminary round, Diaz defeated Rob Emerson by submission; in the quarterfinals he defeated fellow Team Pulver teammate Corey Hill via triangle choke submission in the first round. In the semifinals, Diaz defeated Team Penn member Gray Maynard by submission, advancing to the finals where he faced teammate Manvel Gamburyan. After losing the first round, Diaz won by submission after Gamburyan was forced to tap out in the second round due to the dislocation of his right shoulder as the result of attempting a takedown. With the victory, Diaz became the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5.
After defeating Alvin Robinson and Junior Assunção via submission he demanded tougher fighters. Diaz was given a match with Kurt Pellegrino at UFC Fight Night 13. Diaz defeated Pellegrino via triangle-choke submission in the second round, after losing the first. As he locked up the choke, Diaz had time to flex for the crowd and throw up double middle fingers before Pellegrino actually submitted by tapping out. Diaz defeated veteran Josh Neer by split decision in the main event of UFC Fight Night 15.
Diaz then fought former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Clay Guida at UFC 94: St. Pierre vs. Penn 2, losing via split decision. Guida used his wrestling to take Diaz down multiple times. Diaz attempted to reverse Guida several times using judo-esque switches when Guida had his back. These switches failed to improve position for Diaz. In the 2nd round, Diaz opened up with his boxing and managed to tag Guida several times. After three rounds, the judges awarded Guida the split decision victory, marking Diaz's first loss in the UFC in what was also his pay per view debut.
Diaz met fellow Ultimate Fighter winner and former King of the Cage Welterweight Champion Joe Stevenson at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale. Diaz was largely controlled on the ground due to Stevenson's superior wrestling skills. Stevenson took Diaz down at will and held multiple advantageous position throughout the 3 rounds. Diaz was unable to work any significant submissions or stay on his feet long enough to outstrike Stevenson. Diaz thus lost by unanimous decision.
After two consecutive losses by decision, he was billed to headline UFC Fight Night 19 opposite Melvin Guillard. Diaz was knocked down by a right hook seconds into the fight but recovered quickly, scoring two trip takedowns after being flipped once by Guillard executing a judo throw (harai goshi). He displayed fortitude throughout the rest of the fight, maintaining composure when hit flush several times, becoming more accurate and effective with his boxing in the second stanza, and after backing up Guillard with a left and right jab combo, his opponent backed up until he bounced off the side of the cage, missed with a swing and looked to take Diaz down. At this moment Diaz locked in a modified guillotine choke, using his right leg to keep Guillard in position. He seemed to acknowledge the crowd in attendance before Guillard tapped and Diaz won at 2:30 of round 2.
Diaz faced Gray Maynard on January 11, 2010, in the main event at UFC Fight Night 20, a rematch from when the two met in the semi-finals of the TUF 5 lightweight tournament, where Diaz won. Diaz lost a controversial split decision to Maynard, as the former TUF winner was given the nod in the FightMetric reports, winning rounds two and three.
After three losses in four fights, Nate considered making a permanent move up in weight to the 170 lb. weight class, stating "I don't make enough money to have to drop this much weight so I'd like to fight at 170 and only go to 155 every once in a while."
Diaz made his Welterweight debut on March 27, 2010, at UFC 111 against Miletich Fighting Systems product and striking specialist Rory Markham. At the weigh-ins, Markham weighed in at 177, whereas Diaz weighed in at the Welterweight limit of 171 and the fight was changed to a catchweight fight. Diaz went on to win the fight by TKO in the first round.
After the win over Markham, Diaz stated he would compete in both weight classes. His next fight was again at Welterweight against former professional boxer Marcus Davis on August 28, 2010 at UFC 118. Diaz utilized his reach advantage to great effect, peppering Davis with punches that caused considerable damage over time. Diaz finished Davis after choking him unconscious with a guillotine choke submission in the final round; the bout earned Fight of the Night honors.
Diaz lost by unanimous decision to South Korean fighter Dong Hyun Kim, on January 1, 2011, at UFC 125. Diaz was taken down and controlled by Kim for the first two rounds. While Nate won the final round by pushing the action against a fading Kim, it was too late. Diaz lost the fight 29–28 on all judges' score cards.
Diaz fought Rory MacDonald on April 30, 2011, at UFC 129. Diaz was unable to mount much significant offense, being viciously slammed by MacDonald 3 times in the third round, and was controlled on the ground by MacDonald, losing via a lopsided unanimous decision. Following the loss, Diaz stated that he would be moving back down to the lightweight division.
Diaz defeated former PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi on September 24, 2011, at UFC 135 via armbar submission in the first round. During the fight, Diaz showed improved boxing, rocking Gomi on several occasions and also showed good ground skills, transitioning perfectly from the triangle position to the armbar. He earned Submission of the Night honors for his performance.
Diaz defeated Donald Cerrone at UFC 141 via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 29–28), in a performance that earned both participants Fight of the Night honors. Despite being knocked off of his feet multiple times by sweeping leg kicks from Cerrone, Diaz had one of the best performances of his career. Diaz set a CompuStrike record, landing 82% of the strikes he threw en route to his victory over Cerrone.
Diaz, after several years of training, finally received his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Cesar Gracie. He was awarded his black belt a month before his fight with fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jim Miller.
Diaz next faced Jim Miller on May 5, 2012, at UFC on Fox 3. Diaz outboxed Miller for the majority of the first two rounds, even dropping Miller with a straight left at the end of the first round. Near the end of round two, Miller shot in for a takedown, to which Diaz stuffed and countered with a rolling guillotine choke, forcing the tap at 4:09 of the second round. The submission won Diaz his fifth Submission of the Night bonus award. It was also the first time Miller had been stopped in his MMA career.
Diaz faced Benson Henderson on December 8, 2012, at UFC on Fox 5 in the main event for the UFC Lightweight Championship. Diaz lost the one-sided bout via unanimous decision. Three weeks prior to the championship bout, Diaz signed an eight-fight contract with UFC.
Diaz faced former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson on April 20, 2013, at UFC on Fox 7. He lost the fight via TKO due to a head kick and punches, during which Nate's brother, Nick Diaz physically threw a towel into the octagon, in an attempt to signal the referee to end the bout. On May 16, 2013, Diaz was suspended by the UFC for violating the UFC's code of conduct by using a homophobic slur on his Twitter page. The UFC expressed their disappointment and suspended him; he was eventually suspended for 90 days and fined $20,000.
A rubber match with Gray Maynard took place on November 30, 2013 in the main event at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. Diaz won via TKO in the first round. The stoppage earned him his first Knockout of the Night bonus.
On May 5, 2014, both Nate Diaz and fellow UFC fighter TJ Grant were removed from the UFC's lightweight rankings after being deemed inactive by the UFC.
After over a year away from the sport, Diaz returned from his self-imposed hiatus and faced Rafael Dos Anjos on December 13, 2014 at UFC on Fox 13. Diaz missed weight, coming in at 160.6 pounds. He was given additional time to make the lightweight limit, but didn't attempt to cut further. Instead, he was fined 20 percent of his purse, which went to Rafael dos Anjos. Diaz lost the one-sided fight via unanimous decision (26–30, 26–30, and 27–30).
Diaz was briefly linked to a welterweight bout with Matt Brown on July 11, 2015 at UFC 189. However, in mid-April, Brown announced that the pairing had been scrapped.
After sitting out again for over a year, Diaz returned to face Michael Johnson on December 19, 2015 at UFC on Fox 17. He won the fight by unanimous decision. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honors.
Diaz was set as a replacement to face Conor McGregor on March 5, 2016 at UFC 196, filling in for an injured Rafael dos Anjos. With Diaz only having eleven day's notice, the fight took place at welterweight (170 lbs) due to lack of time to cut weight. Diaz won the fight via submission in the second round. This gave Diaz his ninth submission victory in the UFC, tied for the second-most all-time behind only Royce Gracie. Both fighters were awarded Fight of the Night honors and Diaz was also awarded with the Performance of the Night bonus.
A rematch with McGregor was scheduled for July 9, 2016 at UFC 200. However, on April 19, the UFC announced that McGregor had been pulled from the event after failing to fulfill media obligations in Las Vegas related to the fight. In turn, the fight with McGregor was rescheduled and took place the following month, contested again at welterweight, at UFC 202. Diaz lost the rematch via majority decision. The contest was once again awarded Fight of the Night honors. Diaz had a reported payout of $2 million for the contest, also picking up $50,000 for Fight of the Night honors.
Awards, records, and honors
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- The Ultimate Fighter 5 lightweight Tournament Winner
- Fight of the Night (Eight times) vs. Josh Neer, Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, Marcus Davis, Donald Cerrone, Michael Johnson, Conor McGregor (x2)
- Submission of the Night (Five times) vs. Alvin Robinson, Kurt Pellegrino, Melvin Guillard, Takanori Gomi, Jim Miller
- Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Gray Maynard
- Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Conor McGregor
- Tied (Joe Lauzon) for most post-fight bonus awards in UFC history (15)
- 2011 All-Violence First Team
- 2016 March Fight of the Month vs. Conor McGregor
- 2016 August Fight of the Month vs. Conor McGregor
- "All-Violence Team". Sherdog. Sherdog. 2011.
- "MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for March: You won't be surprised". mmajunkie.com. 2016-03-31.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|30 matches||19 wins||11 losses|
|Loss||19-11||Conor McGregor||Decision (majority)||UFC 202||August 20, 2016||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Welterweight bout. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||19-10||Conor McGregor||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 196||March 5, 2016||2||4:12||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Welterweight bout. Performance of the Night. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||18-10||Michael Johnson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2||December 19, 2015||3||5:00||Orlando, Florida, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||17-10||Rafael dos Anjos||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic||December 13, 2014||3||5:00||Phoenix, Arizona, United States||Catchweight (160.6 lbs) bout; Diaz missed weight.|
|Win||17-9||Gray Maynard||TKO (punches)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate Finale||November 30, 2013||1||2:38||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Loss||16-9||Josh Thomson||TKO (head kick and punches)||UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez||April 20, 2013||2||3:44||San Jose, California, United States|
|Loss||16-8||Benson Henderson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz||December 8, 2012||5||5:00||Seattle, Washington, United States||For the UFC Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||16-7||Jim Miller||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller||May 5, 2012||2||4:09||East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Win||15-7||Donald Cerrone||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 141||December 30, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||14-7||Takanori Gomi||Submission (armbar)||UFC 135||September 24, 2011||1||4:27||Denver, Colorado, United States||Return to Lightweight. Submission of the Night.|
|Loss||13-7||Rory MacDonald||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 129||April 30, 2011||3||5:00||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Welterweight Bout.|
|Loss||13-6||Dong Hyun Kim||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 125||January 1, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Welterweight Bout.|
|Win||13-5||Marcus Davis||Technical Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 118||August 28, 2010||3||4:02||Boston, Massachusetts, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||12-5||Rory Markham||TKO (punches)||UFC 111||March 27, 2010||1||2:47||Newark, New Jersey, United States||Welterweight debut; Markham missed weight (177 lbs).|
|Loss||11-5||Gray Maynard||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz||January 11, 2010||3||5:00||Fairfax, Virginia, United States|
|Win||11-4||Melvin Guillard||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Guillard||September 16, 2009||2||2:13||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Loss||10-4||Joe Stevenson||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom Finale||June 20, 2009||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||10-3||Clay Guida||Decision (split)||UFC 94||January 31, 2009||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||10-2||Josh Neer||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs Neer||September 17, 2008||3||5:00||Omaha, Nebraska, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||9-2||Kurt Pellegrino||Submission (flying triangle choke)||UFC Fight Night: Florian vs Lauzon||April 2, 2008||2||3:06||Broomfield, Colorado, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Win||8-2||Alvin Robinson||Submission (triangle choke)||UFC Fight Night: Swick vs Burkman||January 23, 2008||1||3:39||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Win||7-2||Junior Assunção||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Thomas vs Florian||September 19, 2007||1||4:10||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||6-2||Manvel Gamburyan||Submission (shoulder injury)||The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale||June 23, 2007||2||0:20||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won The Ultimate Fighter 5 Tournament.|
|Loss||5-2||Hermes França||Submission (armbar)||WEC 24||October 12, 2006||2||2:46||Lemoore, California, United States||For the WEC Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||5-1||Dennis Davis||Submission (armlock)||Warrior Cup||August 12, 2006||1||2:00||Stockton, California, United States|
|Win||4-1||Joe Hurley||Submission (triangle choke)||WEC 21||June 15, 2006||2||2:03||Highland, California, United States|
|Win||3-1||Gil Rael||TKO (punches)||WEC 20||May 5, 2006||1||3:35||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||2-1||Tony Juares||TKO (punches)||Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie||March 10, 2006||1||3:23||San Jose, California, United States|
|Loss||1-1||Koji Oishi||Decision (unanimous)||Pancrase: 2005 Neo-Blood Tournament Finals||August 27, 2005||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|win||1–0||Alejandro Garcia||Submission (triangle choke)||WEC 12||October 21, 2004||3||2:17||Lemoore, California, United States|
Mixed martial arts exhibition record
|Professional record breakdown|
|3 matches||3 wins||0 losses|
|Win||3–0||Gray Maynard||Submission (guillotine choke)||The Ultimate Fighter 5||June 14, 2007 (air date)||2||1:17||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||TUF 5 semi-final|
|Win||2–0||Corey Hill||Submission (triangle choke)||The Ultimate Fighter 5||June 7, 2007 (air date)||1||3:02||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||TUF 5 quarterfinal|
|Win||1–0||Rob Emerson||Submission (rear-naked choke)||The Ultimate Fighter 5||April 19, 2007 (air date)||2||4:45||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||TUF 5 elimination round|