Nate Diaz is a rare underdog after UFC 196: one who remains a criminal | Les Carpenter

Many MMA purists find the Californian as a hero dedicated to his craft but he failed to win over a wider audience after his demolish of Conor McGregor

The night was over, he had won, but Nate Diaz couldnt stop fighting. He had done what many boxers bid we are able to and suffocated the expres of Conor McGregor but still it wasnt enough. Times of slights dont disappear in a darknes. With the spotlight ultimately on him, Diaz was going to breath his grudges while he had an audience to hear them.

[ McGregor] has get a move[ from the UFC ], hes got a lot of beings behind him and I bid I had the same pushing and the same assist, Diaz said after his win over McGregor. Ive been doing this a long time, its been nine years. Ive been the last few years meditating: OK when is this going to pay off? And I think its time.

Nothing in fighting is more endearing than the lifer who has toiled in the darkness, daydream of that one great fire. Diaz is skilled and resilient and tough. He should have been the loveable underdog in his Rocky minute against McGregor and there was something heartbreaking about the road he seemed to beg for the acclaim that gets so easily handed to men like McGregor.

In the working day before UFC 196 he maintained brag of his subject with some of the best tutors in combat sports including the jiu jitsu expert Cesar Gracie and top-level kickboxers men McGregor lampooned as juiceheads and skunks. Diazs words fell empty in the pre-fight bombast. No one wanted to hear about Cesar Gracie or how Diaz had improved his boxing technique when McGregor was hooting like a rooster and talking about dining his adversaries alive.

Whatever fortes Diaz has were lost in his perpetual frown, grinding voice and fondness for stimulating words with created middle fingers. His image is not one of a great soldier but rather a tough guy lugging a Chrysler-size chip on his shoulder.

And this is the problem the UFC has with Diazs win over McGregor. Diaz might detect he has earned the publicity the UFC employs behind McGregor but he scarcity the humour that see McGregor appealing to a broad-spectrum audience. Soldiers like McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm are the UFCs bridge to the mainstream. They can be sold as likeable references in a brutal world-wide that still fears numerous sports fans. The UFC cant box Diaz up quite so easily.

McGregor might be profane in his takedowns of fellow soldiers and in his own self-promotion but he plays great on Conan OBrien. Diaz, who uses the word motherfucker as casually as a Wal Mart greeter might say hello, is not chat show textile. He cant front the organization. As the UFC retains get big, crawling toward$ 1bn in annual incomes, it needs Conor McGregor much more than it needs Nate Diaz.

It is possibly too late for Diaz to alter his image, smoothing the rough rims that become him unpalatable to so many. The gibe that is fastened on his look constitutes him the perfect scoundrel, the ideal foil for every McGregor who comes along.

But many true-life MMA love believe Nate Diaz and his brother Nick to be among the sports heroes. They have mastered complicated skills in accordance with the guidelines of nobility coaches and strut as brawlers uninterested in smoothing their persona. Nate has worked hard to improve his boxing technique, allowing him to take advantage of his long reach and its reasonable to argue that his chore is to win rather than attractivenes. The shoots on the UFCs promotional yield for the fight that proved Nate Diaz gently razzing a motorcycle on country roads and swimming laps in a reserve are jarring having regard to the vigorous path the brothers carry themselves. They are non-conformists who are capable of take over anybody, any target, any time and been demonstrated ready to fight.

Even McGregor praised Diaz in the moments after the fight, saying he has always recognized the practice Diaz approached battle. But Diaz refused to accept the flattery, snarling that it should have been obvious he would win on Saturday night. Where McGregor was elegant in defeat, Diaz was surly in defeat. He played the tough guy all the way into the fight and then in the hours after.

Saturday night should have been a occasion for a lifetime of dedication to some of the most-challenging subjects in boast. The storyline should have been about a great jiu jitsu expert and grappler who got UFCs biggest whiz on the ground and virtually pinched the life from him. Instead, Diaz as uncompromising as ever remained the rogue.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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