Friday, February 23, 2007

Interview with UFC Fighter turned Pride FC Fighter: Nick Diaz

By Tommy Messano

Nick Diaz, what a long strange trip it’s been. Always looking for a fight Diaz is 3 up and 3 down in his last 6 bouts. Three straight losses had many questioning the Stockton, California natives’ motivation. Now with three consecutive victories people are once again set to proclaim Diaz a contender. Which Nick Diaz will show up in his Pride FC debut?

On Saturday February 24th at Pride 33 Diaz will once again have a chance to the show the MMA world where he ranks. Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomi will be making his first American appearance against Diaz in a non-title bout. Diaz’s first fight at 160 pounds will be versus arguably the best at 160. Playing the role of spoiler seems to suit Diaz just fine. With less than one week before what may turn out to be the biggest fight of his career, Diaz made time to speak with about Gomi, his future, and his Pride debut.

MaxFighting: How disappointed were you that didn't get to fight last month?
Nick Diaz: Yeah I was disappointed. I never want to train for a fight that's not happening. Luckily this other fight came up.

MaxFighting: How and when were you contacted by Pride to take on Gomi? What were your initial thoughts?
Diaz: They called me up right after my fight got cancelled in January. I gave them my manager's number. When Cesar talked to them they said they had a spot open and we agreed to take it. They first said that it wouldn't be Gomi or Sakurai but later they told "oh by the way it will be Gomi." I kind of figured something like that would happen so I didn't trip about it. I think my thoughts on this fight are the same as his. I'm happy to be fighting him and he's probably happy he's fighting me.

MaxFighting: Is the fight going to be at 160lbs? When was the last time you fought at such a low weight?
Diaz: I'm actually happy to fight at this weight. I've always wanted to fight in Pride with their rules and in a ring and it would be very hard for me to make 155. I've never fought at this weight (160 lbs.) but I wanted to.

MaxFighting: Size wise Gomi is similar to Oishi and Sarmiento, Do you see any similarities?
Diaz: Not really. Everyone brings something different to the ring.

MaxFighting: Gomi is considered the top lightweight in the world. What holes in his game have you seen? And how do you feel you match up with him?
Diaz: I think I can do anything he can do and I'm probably better at it. So we'll see.

MaxFighting: 2006 was a very busy year for Nick Diaz, win or lose what's next for you?
Diaz: Looks like I'll be fighting on Showtime and then there are other shows my manager is talking to. Right now there's only one show I'm thinking about and that's the one this weekend.

MaxFighting: Lastly, Any sponsors or people you wish to thank?
Diaz: I want to thank my supporters and training partners.


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