Nick Diaz’s 5 best fights of his MMA career (& 5 worst)

Mixed martial arts featured some of the most unique, complex and entertaining personalities in the history of combat sports. Nick Diaz, brother of equally famous Nate Diaz, is widely known for his outspoken personality, goofy mannerisms, and insatiable appetite for giving fans some of MMA and the Octagon’s most memorable moments.

RELATED: 10 Things Fans Should Know About Nick Diaz

The 38-year-old Stockton native has competed in the world’s most prestigious MMA promotions including Strikeforce, Dream, EliteXC and UFC. He recently returned to the Octagon after a six-year layoff to face Robbie Lawler in a five-round brawl that showcased the former Strikeforce champion’s resilience and his lifelong connection to MMA. Despite his shortcomings, Nick Diaz has undoubtedly established himself as a future MMA Hall of Fame that will never be forgotten due to his many accomplishments as a longtime competitor in combat sports.

Best: Nick Diaz beats Marius Zaromskis via TKO Round 1 (January 30, 2010)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Diaz’s title reign as Strikeforce welterweight champion began on January 30, 2010, when he took Marius Zaromskis to Strike force: Miami and put on a performance fans won’t soon forget. After being ditched at the start of the first round and committing to survival mode, Diaz was able to get back on his feet where he started peppering Zaromskis with crisp 1-2 combinations that paid off as he went along. the fight was progressing.

With less than a minute to go, he intimidated Zaromskis throughout the Octagon using his versatile combinations, landing heavy shots to the face and body before cutting Zaromskis with a short right hook which sent the Lithuanian native out. on the web and ended the fight in favor of Diaz. . Shortly thereafter, Diaz was crowned the new Strikeforce welterweight champion and began a reign that would last until he left the promotion.

Worse: KJ Noons defeated Nick Diaz via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) Round 1 (November 10, 2007)


It’s not often that Nick Diaz is outclassed, especially early in his career. Despite a formidable effort, Diaz was ultimately outscored by KJ Noons when they first met in 2007 where the pair faced off for the EliteEX Lightweight Championship. Noons managed to land a powerful knee in Diaz’s face during a dismantling attempt that resulted in a nasty cut and excessive bleeding.

Noons would go on to dominate the opening round as the Stockton native tried to battle blurry vision and damage to the face. After seeing enough, a TKO via doctor’s stoppage was decided in favor of Noons. However, this wouldn’t be the last time the two would face off, as Diaz would get revenge later when the two met at Strikeforce years later.


Best: Nick Diaz defeats Evangelista Santos via Armbar Round 2 (January 29, 2011)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Diaz’s title defense against “Cyborg” Santos was without a doubt one of the most entertaining performances of his title reign in Strikeforce history. After a back-and-forth brawl that saw the two land on their feet, Diaz was able to control the shorter Santos using his prolific range, sharp jab, and powerful punches. The fight is highlighted by a fierce combination that saw Diaz unload five to six powerful hooks onto Santos’ body before locking a slick armband for the second round victory. It would mark the second straight defense in Diaz’s title reign while extending his winning streak to nine in a row.

Worse: Diego Sanchez defeats Nick Diaz by unanimous decision (November 5, 2005)


It was Diego Sanchez’s mighty struggle ultimately that led to Diaz’s disappointing performance at The Ultimate Fighter 2 final. Despite his best efforts, Diaz was unable to overcome Sanchez’s near-perfect grappling game plan and fell victim to the impeccable control and resilient takedown attack from the TUF 1 winner. It would be the start. of a three-game losing streak thanks to Sanchez, Joe Riggs and Sean Sherk.

Best: Nick Diaz defeats Frank Shamrock via TKO Round 2 (April 11, 2009)

Sherdog Forums

It took a few years to finalize a fight between two of Strikeforce’s biggest stars in Diaz and Shamrock. After much waiting, the pair met on April 11, 2009, as the crowd eagerly awaited one of MMA’s most important showdowns.

The first round was mostly for Diaz to successfully control Shamrock from above after performing a teardown and completing the round full-mounted and reigning over punishing terrain and pound. In the second round he opted to use his length and continually beat Shamrock with long and precise combinations before landing a perfect right hook on the body which sent the former UFC middleweight champion crashing down. towards the canvas. Diaz followed up with more vicious shots from the first position before the referee saw enough and called the fight at 3:57 of the second round. It would mark the fourth victory in Diaz’s nine-game winning streak as he continually added to the lore of his always-entertaining character.

Worse: Anderson Silva defeats Nick Diaz via the Unanimouis decision (January 31, 2015)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After much deliberation on who would be chosen to face Anderson Silva in his comeback fight after suffering a brutal leg injury, the UFC decided to give Diaz the opportunity to welcome one of the champions again. the most dominant in MMA. He didn’t look particularly good in this fight as Silva used a safe but effective game plan to land and consistently get ahead of Diaz’s less polite striker.

RELATED: Nick Diaz vs. Anderson Silva (& 9 Other Insanely Bad UFC Fights)

Perhaps the most bizarre moment of the fight came when Diaz literally lay flat on the canvas, signaling Silva to attack him. Although the contest was ultimately called off by an NC, it was a forgettable performance at best for the Stockton native.

Best: Nick Diaz defeats Robbie Lawler by KO (April 2, 2004)


Few of the UFC welterweights were actively looking to take on Robbie Lawler in his first run in the UFC. The powerful brawler had compiled an 8-1 record and was widely known for boasting thunderous knockout power in both hands. It didn’t scare Diaz who welcomed the challenge and opted to trade hard knocks with the stronger Lawler for the majority of the fight. The two stood in the center of the cage and took part in an extremely entertaining slugfest which saw both men having their first round moments.

Diaz was bursting with confidence as he entered the second round and forever changed his legacy when he landed the infamous right hook that stiffened Lawler to his feet and sent him falling to the canvas. From that day on, Diaz gained the attention of combat sports fans and became a household name in mixed martial arts.

Worse: Robbie Lawler defeats Nick Diaz via TKO (September 25, 2021)

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Diaz chose to return to the UFC after a six-year layoff that materialized against his official rival Robbie Lawler. The couple had already met at UFC 47 which allowed Diaz to take Lawler out in an incredible way. Sadly, Diaz’s hoped-for comeback didn’t materialize as he fell victim to Lawler’s powerful punch this time around. It was clear that he was no longer the fighter he once was, being particularly slow and lackluster throughout the fight.

Best: Nick Diaz defeats Paul Daley via TKO (April 9, 2011)


Of all of Nick Diaz’s memorable victories throughout his incredible mixed martial arts career, his fascinating title defense showdown against Paul Daley has truly been a career highlight. The fight lasted less than a full turn, but culminated in one of the most action-packed MMA fights in Strikeforce history. Diaz and Daley transferred their bad blood straight to the cage where they launched an onslaught of haymakers both determined to knock each other out in extraordinary ways.

RELATED: 10 Best Strikeforce Fighters Of All Time, Ranked

After many exciting trades, including a superb left hook from Daley that sent the champion crashing down to the canvas, Diaz quickly recovered and put together a brutal combination which in turn knocked out the challenger. He quickly followed Daley to the ground and threw several more powerful strikes from first position before the referee was forced to signal the end of the fight. This performance personified Diaz’s fighting spirit and continued to build his growing legacy in combat sports.

Worse: Georges St-Pierre defeats Nick Diaz by unanimous decision (March 16, 2013)


TO UFC 158, many expected St-Pierre and Diaz to put on a top-level mixed martial arts match featuring two of the best welterweights in the world. Instead, fans were treated to an uneventful and unbalanced victory that consisted of St-Pierre continually battling Diaz on the ground and occupying a favorable position.

The champion, St-Pierre, was leading a 10-game winning streak and had completely dominated the majority of his opponents throughout his long reign for the title. This fight drew attention as many believed that Diaz’s high-profile Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu could undo St-Pierre’s powerful fight. Unfortunately, that was not the case as the challenger fell victim to St-Pierre’s bulletproof game plan and suffered one of the biggest losses of his career.


Nate Diaz’s 5 best fights of his MMA career (& 5 worst)

After living in the shadow of his older brother for many years, Nate Diaz rose to MMA stardom, but not all of his fights were so great!

Read more

About the Author