Monday, April 2, 2007

Nick Diaz - The Hunger For More - How did your connection start with Ceasar Gracie?
Nick Diaz - I went to Tokay high school in Lodi and a friend of mine was always talking about how his older brother did Jiu Jitsu and trained with like a Lions Den or Shamrock or something like that in Lodi. So when I was like 16, I stopped by there to lift some weights and then I found out that they were doing choke holds and shit like that in there, so I went in there and started learning how to choke people and learning Jiu Jitsu and stuff like that from a guy named Steve Heath, because he trained Jiu Jitsu under Ceasar Gracie and he was a blue belt and its real hard to get a blue belt under Ceasar Gracie.

Everybody that's a blue belt is really, really good. It's like you might as well be a black belt almost in other schools if your a blue belt under Ceasar Gracie. So I learned alot from this guy and he took me right up there to meet Ceasar right away, because I choked most of the guys that he had trained and taught because he had his own group of guys there that he was working out with, cause he was gonna go fight Chuck Lidell. So I helped him to go train to fight Chuck Lidell when I was real young , like 16 and he had a group of guys and I would beat all those guys so he brought me up to meet Ceasar right away and then Ceasar started putting me in fights when I was like 16 or 17. - So was Jiu Jitsu something you felt was natural to you?
Nick Diaz - As far as Jiu Jitsu, yeah I think it was and I think that's why I took that Jiu Jitsu path instead of that like Lions Den type of way that everybody else was going towards. There was alot of body builders in the sport right when I started. Alot of like athletic people from like wrestling coaches and wrestlers and I moreso wanted to learn Jiu Jitsu and I was into boxing. So it was a little bit different for me.

So I was choking alot of these guys and stuff like that and uh we had Jens Pulver training with us too. For like my first 3 or 4 months of training, I trained with Jens Pulver. Him and Steve Heath and that was before he went to the Militech team, and so he went to the Militech team and I went to the Gracie academy and started learning Jiu Jitsu. - How was Pulver back then when you started to train with him?
Nick Diaz - Well, I would train with him and I would roll with him and I had never done anything, and he had already been fighting in the UFC so he taught me alot about boxing, because he was a more experienced boxer, so he taught me alot about boxing right away and how to wrap my hands with long hand wrap and he had good boxing fundamentals, which is really surprising because alot of people in MMA had never had any boxing experience, but apparently he was pretty good I suppose because he had this boxing experience that he had gone through and he was a pretty established wrestler to, so he would get in there and box guys and sprawl and beat em up and knock em out and take them down and pound on them.

He had some good wrestling, but he got me going really well on my boxing. He got me jabbing and moving really well to my right. Actually I started out sparring conventional, he got me jabbing with my left and circling to the left and it got me moving really well circling around the guy and throwing a jab and moving and stepping out of the way of the right hand. Another good thing is I was right around the area from some good pro boxers and Ceasar Gracie took me to the boxing gym. The difference between me and alot of MMA fighters is I went to the boxing gym and I trained boxing. I'm a pro boxer too and I have had some pro boxing bouts and I have trained with alot of pro boxers. I would actually have alot more pro boxing bouts if I had the time and if they paid as much money as I'm getting paid for MMA right now, but fortunately I'm getting paid alot in MMA and I know who I'm going up against alot of times and what I'm dealing with.

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