Nate Diaz made a successful return to the win column at TUF 18, knocking out Gray Maynard in one round and erasing the demons of his TKO loss to Josh Thomson in San Jose. Diaz also snapped a two fight losing skid and likely saved his contract with his dominating performance.
Diaz had mentioned in his post fight interview that he felt the stoppage was late, and I agreed with him. The Stockton native stopped by to talk to Fight! Magazine recently to discuss the November win over ‘The Bully’:
"I was actually thinking what the hell is wrong with this guy's corner and the ref for not stopping this fight because I was landing a lot of shots. I was kind of like ‘What the f---? Is this s--- going to end?'"
This isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last time we see a fighter take unnecessary punishment, the most recent case in memory was Yoel Romero’s beatdown of Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night: Atlanta. The two had battled for three rounds when Romero unleashed a nasty flurry of punches. The ensuing ground and pound assault went on far too long, with the referee seeming unsure as to whether he should save Brunson from being beaten to death.
"If he had experienced fighters in his corner and his coaches...those guys in his corner that Javier...Is it Mendez? Ok, so he's in the corner and he's supposed to be some pro? Some badass? He knows everything? Well if you know everything how did you not know your friend was getting his ass beat and just let him take those shots, you know?"
I agree that refereeing a fight is probably a very complicated and difficult task, but that is what training is there for. In the case of Maynard and Brunson, I’d argue that neither referee has a full understanding of what the signs and symptoms of concussion are.
"We aren't making millions of dollars. We're making pennies for this fighting stuff."
A surprisingly level-headed approach from Diaz, and I’m sure he speaks what is on most of our minds. The term ‘intelligently defending themselves’ seems to have slipped out of some official’s grasp, but I didn’t expect Nate Diaz to put them straight.