“He is such an enormous man that everybody thinks he’ll beat me.”

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 4: Nate Diaz attends the UFC 285 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 4, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Butari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Nate Diaz, who has gone 21-13 in his MMA profession, makes his skilled boxing debut on Saturday in opposition to Jack Paul. (Photograph by Jeff Butari/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Photos)

Nate Diaz has spent his complete life in search of fights.

When he was rising up outdoors of Stockton, California. within the Octagon throughout his 15-year MMA profession. With UFC administration as he tried to get the matches he wished and finally, when he wished out of the promotion to comply with his wishes and management the cash.

“I all the time wish to struggle individuals that everybody thinks are going to bang my ass,” mentioned Diaz. “So I’ve to indicate them that this isn’t true.”

That is his life, he fights even when he is not combating. Selecting to not struggle when nobody is value combating for. He has fought 34 occasions within the UFC, shedding 13 of them however by some means changing into increasingly more well-liked, increasingly more revered, and increasingly more likable alongside the best way. Followers knew one factor, squabbling, no holding again, no lack of labor.

No one actually cares in the event that they win or lose. He is recognized for bleeding throughout fights and solely by some means getting stronger as others panic—”I am identical to, ‘Do not freak out,'” he mentioned. “It makes everybody assume you are loopy, nevertheless it’s simply blood. It is not likely that massive of a deal.”

And when the 38-year-old lastly managed to slide out of the UFC’s management, it by some means led him to Saturday Night time in Dallas, a pay-per-view struggle with a maybe unlikely opponent – Jake Paul, former Disney Channel star and web influencer turned boxing draw.

Diaz has all the time prided himself on combating “actual fights”, as he describes it. So how is that this struggle – a boxing match in opposition to Jake Paul – a bit just like the MMA wars with Conor McGregor, Jorge Masvidal, and so on.?

“Properly, in every single place I am going individuals speak about Jake Paul banging individuals’s asses,” Diaz mentioned. “He beat (two) former UFC champions. He is in a heavier weight class. He is an enormous man that everybody thinks he’ll beat me.

“So that is who you wish to struggle.”

If anybody has seen this farce, they need to hearken to Diaz and know that it’s something however that.

Paul proves to be a devoted boxer, and an excellent one at that. He has defeated three former UFC superstars, however there are asterisks hooked up. Tyrone Woodley and Ben Askren are largely wrestlers, not strikers. In the meantime, Anderson Silva was 47 years previous. Had he been within the octagon, Diaz mentioned issues can be totally different.

“If he had fought Tyrone Woodley in an actual struggle, Tyrone Woodley would have dipped him on the top and elbowed him,” Diaz mentioned. If he had fought Anderson Silva for actual, he would have been kicked within the ass, checked within the chin with a foot and out in a minute.

“And if he had fought Ben Askren…” …he in all probability would have completed the identical with Ben Askren’s unlucky donkey, Diaz mentioned earlier than pausing and breaking right into a deep chuckle. Ben Askren had gone to sleep it doesn’t matter what. This man is unhealthy.”

Diaz stored laughing.

“However all of them cornered him and kicked them out, so you’ll be able to’t outrun something within the boxing ring,” Diaz continued. “He is sturdy and he is good and he has rather a lot going for him.”

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - FEBRUARY 26: Jake Paul looks at the ring as they enter the ring as they walk down the ring prior to the Cruiserweight Title match between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury at Diriyah Arena on February 26, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  (Photo by Francois Niel/Getty Images)

In his first struggle in opposition to knowledgeable boxer, Jack Paul misplaced a cut up determination to Tommy Fury on February 26, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photograph by Francois Niel/Getty Photos)

That would be the problem for Diaz, who’s finest recognized in MMA for all kinds of abilities, together with spectacular cardio. Strike was a expertise, although, excess of Woodley and Askren. And at 38 years previous, there may be nonetheless loads of pop to his punch that the getting old Silva lacks.

Diaz has been boxing for years and that’s the reason Saturday is Paul’s largest problem but.

However the strain right here is on Diaz. There’s a sizable section of struggle followers who, regardless of their grudging respect for the boxer and stuntman Paul has confirmed to be, wish to see him battered and battered, uncovered as somebody who cannot stand as much as an actual fighter.

They need – they want – Nate Diaz to ship that. No, he isn’t knowledgeable boxer. He is about as shut as Paul would step right into a one-on-one ring, although.

For Diaz, his post-UFC profession is simply starting, and a win would open doorways. Dropping could make issues tough. He talks about returning to the UFC on his phrases to finish his trifecta with McGregor. Or possibly there’s a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Or possibly one thing else.

“I can do all of it,” he mentioned, “and do all of it my manner.”

Diaz retains his targets easy. It is concerning the problem. It is about efficiency. It is concerning the coronary heart he exhibits irrespective of the circumstances. It is concerning the followers.

“I identical to the followers do, once they consider the perfect fights they’ve ever seen, or among the finest fighters they’ve ever seen, I need them to assume like I did once I watched Royce Gracie struggle or somebody like Roy Jones or BJ Penn,” Diaz mentioned. “Somebody you watch struggle after which wish to go in a full ninja-inspired exercise.

“That is what I would love it to appear to be,” he continued. “I do not know what it seems like. However that is what I need it to appear to be. I am not in search of a enjoyable match or a enjoyable sport. I wish to be certain that they keep in mind my fights till the tip of time.”

Diaz by no means backed down. Not within the octagon. Not in opposition to the UFC. Now that is the circus, within the new sport of impactful boxing, in opposition to Jack Paul, and he is as severe as ever.

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