Pushing Nick Diaz: A Study in Match Making

It is no secret that Nick Diaz basically kept the Strikeforce brand afloat through the last three years of his career. An exciting volume puncher who brings a unique style, always takes big shots, often gets in to trouble, but finishes the vast majority of his fights. These are all highly desirable qualities in a fighter; consistency and excitement being the greatest marketable assets in a fighter - there's a reason Chuck Liddell was the biggest star in MMA during his 3 year, knockout filled winning streak. What many fans do not realize is the efforts which matchmakers go to to make stars like Diaz a reality for their promotion. Despite the welterweight division being filled to the brim with takedown artists, Nick Diaz has still not fought a decent wrestler in the last half a decade.

 

The Role of a Match Maker

What many fans fail to understand is that there is a reason match makers such as Joe Silva make such huge amounts of money. A matchmaker's job is to either:

1) Put on a barnburning fight

OR

2) Sell a fighter as a superstar

In every event you will see the staple brawlers tend to the first order of business such as Chris Lytle and Chris Leben, fighters who are unlikely to get a title shot on their ability but that a matchmaker can rely on to put on an exciting fight win, lose or draw. Exciting brawlers can often stay in the major leagues of MMA despite a losing record if they entertain the crowds, and this is excellent because not everyone can be a Georges St. Pierre but still deserve gainful employment.

The second concern of selling a fighter is where Joe Silva, and other matchmakers earn their money. It is hard to sell fights under a brand unless there are stars within that brand that act as a figurehead. Often these will be exciting fighters such as BJ Penn, or fighters who have a following from outside MMA such as Brock Lesnar or Herschel Walker.

Continues at:

http://www.headkicklegend.com/2012/2/8/2785741/pushing-nick-diaz-a-study-in-match-making

 

 Ttt

Showtime kept it afloat IMO.






sub

Do you know what movie I haven't watched in a while? The Big Lebowski. Great fucking movie. "

That rug really did tie the room together.

 "He aint scared of noone and lights up blunts" -Hitler on nick diaz

 Bump!

Nick Diaz is not normal man he taunts fighters and smokes pot!

I like my hardcore cage fighters normal! Phone Post

Ripped the fuck off from head kick legend dot com



The subtleties of a good matchmakers' understanding are indeed impressive; when the UFC was attempting to sell Brock Lesnar for instance, they matched him against Frank Mir immediately. Frank Mir was coming off 2 unimpressive performances and a submission over one dimensional kickboxer Antoni Hardonk, he lack stand up prowess, wrestling ability and had been pounded out on his back 3 times by smaller men - a stylistic dream for a Division 1 wrestler who needs to make a huge impression. 9 times out of 10 Brock Lesnar beats Frank Mir based on their styles and abilities, but by the time the fight came around Countdown to UFC shows had played up Mir's ex-champion angle and made much of his BJJ despite the majority of his submissions at the time coming over fighters like Petey Williams, Tank Abbott and Wes Simms. While Lesnar lost the fight, Mir only achieved about 3 seconds of offense throughout due to Lesnar making a basic error, the rematch showed what the first match should have looked like.



Pushing the Nick Diaz Brand



Let me first say that Nick Diaz is an exceptional fighter and athlete, one of the authors favorites to ever compete in combat sports, but from an objective perspective he has been pushed like few other fighters have.



Nick Diaz has trouble with wrestling, this much is a fact. Anyone who saw him wading in like a zombie to pick up singles through the first four rounds of his fight with Carlos Condit can attest to the lack of polish in this area of his game. Yet in a division which is filled to bursting with wrestling talent; Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, Jake Ellenberger, Johnny Hendricks, Mike Pierce, Tyron Woodley, Brian Ebersole, Matt Hughes, Ben Askren to name a few, Nick has not fought a single accomplished wrestler in 5 years. A quick glance through his record for those unfamiliar with his first run in the UFC will indicate why, the two accomplished takedown artists he fought - Karo Parisyan and Sean Sherk - laid all over him.



Now have a look at Diaz's record through the last five years since that 2006 loss to Sean Sherk; filled to the brim with strikers - most often one dimensional ones or older competitors who have abandoned their ground games such as Shamrock and Sakurai. Now there is something incredibly impressive about taking on great strikers at their own game and beating them there, but essentially this means that Nick Diaz - a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt - has been fighting one dimensional kickboxers in an MMA match.



Through Strikeforce Nick was a premier attraction, one of the highest paid fighters on the roster, because of his entertaining style and consistency, but this was helped along through the employment of only strikers as his opponents. These went from the relevant and dangerous Marius Zaromskis and Paul Daley, to the undeserving but game Scott Smith, Hayato Sakurai and Frank Shamrock, to scraping the bottom of the barrel as lightweight KJ Noons and middleweight gasser Evangelista Santos were brought to welterweight in order to scrap with Diaz on the feet.



Even when he came to the UFC and wrestlers filled the roster, failing an immediate title shot Diaz was given BJ Penn, an undersized welterweight who relied entirely on striking at that point in his career, dropped half a foot in reach and was still took Diaz down in the first round. Now this was a match of convenience of course, due to injuries the two were matched instead of their original opponents, just as it was coincidental that Diaz met Condit, a striker, afterward. What is questionable now however is that Diaz is getting an immediate rematch with Condit in hopes that he'll win convincingly and get a marketable title shot. If he loses, will he ever fight another wrestler?   

good read

 Ttt

 Ttt

Thank you sir Phone Post

Have you or are you thinking about breaking down the fight between diaz and condit and who you think the striking went down? Phone Post

Kingtony87 -  Have you or are you thinking about breaking down the fight between diaz and condit and who you think the striking went down? Phone Post


 Well what Condit did is basically what I said he'd do in my breakdown for CagePototo - use his lead leg to kick Nick's lead leg from the outside and not get into punching exchanges.



I could break it down in a bit more detail I suppose but there's a lot of bias on both sides of the fight and I don't know how well it would be recieved XD There's a lot of hurting Diaz fans about!

UGCTT_Blake - Do you know what movie I haven't watched in a while? The Big Lebowski. Great fucking movie. "

That rug really did tie the room together.

That is a great movie, I think I'll have to watch it this wknd..
OVER THE LINE! Phone Post

TallNStall -
Kingtony87 -  Have you or are you thinking about breaking down the fight between diaz and condit and who you think the striking went down? Phone Post

 Well what Condit did is basically what I said he'd do in my breakdown for CagePototo - use his lead leg to kick Nick's lead leg from the outside and not get into punching exchanges.

I could break it down in a bit more detail I suppose but there's a lot of bias on both sides of the fight and I don't know how well it would be recieved XD There's a lot of hurting Diaz fans about!

Lol yea i read you breakdown of what they should do prefight. when watching I thought condit had won pretty clearly albiet in a close fight. I was just curious as to what one of the ug's resident striking experts had to say about the exchanges Phone Post

 TTT