Why Nick Diaz Should Stick to MMAPosted on April 18, 2011, 03:23 PM by Ryan Ventura
Last Saturday was a wonderful day for combat sports fans. We had a showcase of world class Mixed Martial Arts from Bellator, in the world of Boxing we had top ranked fighter Amir Khan, and what the combat sports world is still buzzing about Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto. The bout between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto was a fight for the ages for the WBO Welterweight title. A showcase of skill, heart, and technique that eventually ended with Victor Ortiz going home with the unanimous decision, and the welterweight strap.
I’ve been a boxing fan for a very long time; since I was just a baby in diapers I can recall my dad and my grandpa watching the likes of Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr. and many more. Before I even knew what MMA was, I understood the sweet science. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges, peaches and pears. Both sports are in the same category, but neither one has the same “taste”. I enjoy both combat sports equally and I see the “beauty” in the techniques. For a boxer, I really admire speed, footwork, head movement, and the ability to distribute weight into each strike. For the modern Mixed Martial Artist, I admire the fighter who can show off well-rounded skills. Good on the feet, the ground, clinch, and whatever situation their opponent can throw at him or her.
Nick Diaz is one of those Mixed Martial Artists that display very well-rounded techniques. He is extremely effective on the feet and very dangerous when taken to the ground. Mr. 209 is one of the best fighters in the game today and last week on HD Net’s Inside MMA he revealed the he may be making the jump to professional boxing.
"Strikeforce doesn't have anybody else for me to fight right now, I'm better than all these guys they have," says Diaz. "The guys they have ranked above me, I'm sure they don't want to fight me. I don't see much of a future in this sport for me. I honestly don't, especially if there's not a whole lot of money going on."
If Diaz does make the jump to pro boxing, he has been rumoured to take on former top ranked Middleweight fighter Fernando Vargas. Fernando is set to return to competition sometime this year against an unnamed opponent after being retired for over three years. Vargas is best known a fighter who would choke when it came to fighting the best. He has been a victim of losses to the likes of Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley (twice), and rival Ricardo Mayorga.
In the world of Mixed Martial Arts Diaz has fought and beat some of the best strikers in the sport. Robbie Lawler, Takanori Gomi, KJ Noons, Scott Smith, Marius Zaromskis, Evangelista Santos, and most recently Paul Daley are some of Nick’s victims. All wonderful strikers in MMA, but if they were to test their striking in the K-1 Kickboxing realm or pro boxing they wouldn’t be able to hang with the top fighters or even journey men.
A lot of people talk about the boxing of Nick Diaz and how “technical” it is. To be honest his style of striking is truly only effective in the MMA world where he can use his Caesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu if needed. Not only that, Nick couldn’t and shouldn’t strike the way he strikes in the boxing ring. His chin is always nice and high, his hands always low. Nick has a nice lanky reach, an iron chin, but we all known iron chins don’t last forever. Nick is also a volume punching southpaw that could give fighters a hard time, but for a boxer who has trained in the sweet science for many years he’ll be able to pick Nick apart.
If Nick is really serious about competing in pro boxing, he needs to leave MMA for a while. Concentrating on head movement, foot work, learning how to use his range to his advantage. He already has undefeated and top ranked middleweight boxer Andre Ward in his corner which is a plus, but he needs to solely concentrate on boxing in order to be successful. However, if he were to come back he might not be the same Nick Diaz. Japanaese superstar Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto took a long hiatus from Mixed Martial Arts to go back into wrestling to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When he returned to MMA, he just hasn’t looked like the same Kid we saw in 2005-2006.
Nick wouldn’t be able to hang with the top boxers in the world in a boxing match, but if he solely focuses on boxing he could be a successful journeyman. But why would you want that if your one of the best Mixed Martial Artists in the world? Sure you can make a lot more money being on a boxing undercard, but wouldn’t you rather be one of the greatest of all-time in MMA? In boxing we rarely remember the undercards, but we always remember the main event headliners. Do you remember who was on the undercard at the Thrilla in Manila?
Nick Diaz, I can understand you not feeling challenged in your division but with the recent purchase of Strikeforce by Zuffa, I think we can all name a handful of matches you could be tested in. With your recent performances, that money will come, and you’ll get the pay check you deserve. Or who knows I could be wrong and although this is very unlikely, Nick Diaz could be another crossover MMA fighter like Alistair Overeem finding success in the pure striking arts. But for the sake of your legacy Nick, stick to outboxing your opponents in MMA.