We’ve known this for a while now, this whole idea that Nick Diaz doesn’t really care about MMA. It’s a bit of a strange thing for a fighter on his level to admit considering that there are so many people out there who see his success in MMA and feel resentment over it. Nick Diaz has never been the poster boy for the sport of MMA; he’s brash, he’s irrational, he’s talented and it always feels like he isn’t tapping into that full potential. Nick Diaz makes a lot of hardcore MMA fans want to rip their hair out.
Yet, Nick Diaz commands a sizable stable of fans who are rabid over him and his way of life. Nick Diaz has that whole “mystique” that not many American fighters have. Nick Diaz doesn’t have cameras following him around at all times, we don’t know every facet of his life, he doesn’t enjoy doing press or opening himself up to the world. In fact, Nick Diaz has made it clear that MMA is just how he makes money, it isn’t his passion.
Here’s Nick from the MMA Hour yesterday.
“I look back and think about why did I take one of these, you know, mediocre level opponents or fights, or something like that. I could see myself going, I didn’t need to do that, I didn’t need to go there. I’m not fanatical or in love with being an MMA fighter. It’s just, I’m the right guy for the job nowadays. Pretty much after my first couple pro fights I wound up being the right guy for the job, so that’s why I’m still here, and I’ll fight the right fights if I have the opportunity.”
To many, this spits in the face of all of these young, hungry, up-and-coming fighters who would kill to have the opportunities that Nick Diaz has gotten, to have his spot. Nick Diaz isn’t deserving of everyone’s love and adulation and he doesn’t want it, yet, here he is.
The truth is, Nick Diaz is a guy that is talented at something that he doesn’t love. That happens sometimes and it’s difficult for some people to understand. It’s like going to art school and wanting so badly to be a great painter while you watch some kid who has no desire to be an artist loaf around, slack off and still effortlessly produce great piece after great piece. Nick Diaz is proof that the world can be cruel sometimes and really, it’s not his fault. It’s also what makes him a cult symbol of defiance. Nick Diaz doesn’t care about MMA. He doesn’t care if it becomes bigger than the NFL, he doesn’t care if the sport gets run down in mainstream press, he cares about his paycheck and being able to fund his Triathlons and lifestyle. Period.