“In order to love fighting, I have to hate it.”
Nick Diaz said that in an interview almost three years ago. Now, the UFC has recycled his violent philosophical musings for a new UFC 183 promo. Of course, they edited it a bit. Unlike the sport of mixed martial arts, it seems the word “sh*t” isn’t ready for the mainstream. I even loaded it with an asterisk. Yes, the world isn’t quite ready for an uncensored Nick Diaz. Here is his original quote, which reads like MMA poetry:
“In order to love fighting, I have to hate it.
There is no love in this without hate.
You’ve gotta love it so you want it so bad that you push yourself to those limits.
To where you just simply hate it.
And if you ain’t there, to where you hate it? Then good luck trying to love this sh*t.”
We’ve known for years that Nick Diaz hates fighting. He hates showing up for press events. He hates being provoked by reporters. That’s understandable. But his sweeping disdain for the entire experience is still more profound. Even his post-fight interviews seem devoid of any real joy.
In 2011, after his fight with Takanori Gomi, Nick talked about the Fireball Kid throwing hadoukens without cracking a smile. Win or lose, it is his standard interview persona. He does smile briefly at 00:50 in this interview with Mayhem Miller, but the flash of teeth is like the brief surfacing of an endangered white whale. A moment later, the smile recedes into the depths, not seen again during his unbroken three-minute monologue.
But that pervasive gloom of his is endearing. It sets him apart as a lonely samurai of sorts, and we quietly enjoy his solitary fate. We just pray it doesn’t cross the delicate threshold that results in a canceled fight. And so, we function as third-party conspirators, validating his personal philosophy. Because if Nick Diaz didn’t absolutely hate fighting, we wouldn’t love him so much.