Skip to Main Content

How to Fight Like Nick Diaz

By Jessica Militello

One of the UFC’s most legendary and respected fighters made a very long-awaited return to the octagon at UFC 266 for a rematch with Robbie Lawler that was 17 years in the making and many couldn’t even believe it was really happening. 

After such a long hiatus from fighting, many fighters, commentators, and fans weighed in on their thoughts of Nick’s performance that night and their feelings on a TKO decision via retirement just 44 seconds into the third round. Prior to that point both fighters exchanged punches for 5 minutes straight in both of the first two rounds, but Lawler was better prepared and got the win. Still, Nick did well considering a very long hiatus and only training for the fight for about six weeks. 

Going forward, it’s completely possible that Nick can perform much better next time should he choose to fight again in the near future after shaking off some ring rust and with a much better and more prepared training camp.

However, his talent and legend were still present that night and there’s a lot to learn from the Stockton bad boy’s fighting techniques and skill. The former welterweight champion in Strikeforce, WEC, and IFC has always had a unique fighting style and some of his attributes fit perfectly with the technique and philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. 

If you’d like to become a better martial artist, here are some great qualities that you can learn from watching Nick Diaz fight-

Being a well-rounded fighter

These days in the UFC, it’s easier to find fighters who have a wider skillset, but even so, you’ll still find many that rely primarily on one tool over others, like Derek Brunson who is known for wrestling or fighters that rely on their kickboxing, like Israel Adesanya. For these pro fighters, they have found what they like and what works best for them in winning fights, and everyone, whether they just train in martial arts or compete have their own preference and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. However, at the height of his career, Nick was just as adept in his striking as he was with being a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu during a time in the UFC when a lot of the matchups were the typical striker vs wrestler-types of fights. Out of 26 of Nick’s wins, 13 of them were by knockout and 8 by submission, just to give a glimpse into his versatility. At the height of his career, being so versatile was a concept considered a  little more subversive and gave Nick yet another trait to make him stand out. This mentality fits in perfectly with JKD, because you never really know what your opponent may be capable of in a self-defense situation, which is why it’s so important to learn punching, kicking, trapping, grappling, and weapon that is taught at the school. In his most recent fight at UFC 266, we didn’t get to see any of Nick’s grappling skills, but he put on a great fight and gave out a lot of volume in punches to his opponent Robbie Lawler.

Foul tactics

When you think of both Nick and his brother Nate, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is the Stockton Slap, a move first made famous by big brother Nick that’s meant to be equal parts disrespectful as much as it is a strategy to make their opponent lose their composure. In pro fighting, slapping is allowed, so maybe foul tactics isn’t the best word to describe the technique, but it definitely applies to adapting in the moment and using unique strategies toward winning a fight and the same mentality applies in JKD which is intended for self-defense in the street. In a street fight, anything goes, so you have to be prepared for whatever your opponent throws at you and keep your focus in order to get out of danger. You also have to be willing to get creative and do whatever it takes to get home safely. Similar moves, like the slapping hook, definitely existed beforehand especially in boxing, but many never heard of it until they saw Nick using it. His adaptability and creativity have definitely been a factor in his highlight reel of wins over the course of his career.

Interception and offense as defense

Another component of Nick’s style that he is known for are his constant flurries of punches throughout fights that make it hard for his opponents to react to because of the constant volume being thrown. In his first fight back after an almost 7-year layoff, this trait was still well evident, with Diaz throwing over 183 punches in the first round alone. Former UFC champion and commentator, Daniel Cormier, noted during the fight, that “a lot of Diaz’s defense is rooted just in his offense, he doesn’t stop coming so he doesn’t leave that many openings for you.,” which in many ways ties perfectly into JKD and it’s focus on interception. Especially if you are defending yourself in real life, you definitely do not want to be passive or take on unnecessary damage by blocking punches, especially without gloves, so being active in order to get out of danger is a good way to get to safety.

Strong side forward

Many people may not realize this, but Nick is actually a righty southpaw, which gives him the advantage of having his strong side forward when he fights. JKD delineates from other combat sports and martial arts who generally stick to the traditional rules of orthodox and southpaw stances, however, even though a strong side forward stance is still considered uncommon, there are many famous fighters who fight that way, like Mike Tyson and Lomachenko. Nick Diaz is no different, and he has been known to have a powerful hook with knockout power. Having your strong side forward gives you a better hook, jab, and lead uppercut, and can fool many opponents, although Nick has always been known to have unorthodox and unique styles in his fighting that has been part in making him the MMA legend that he is.

How Can Martial Arts Classes Build Confidence?

  It stands to reason that martial arts classes can increase self-confidence, but it might surprise some to learn that the factors that increase self-confidence do not come from the martial art itself.  Rather, aspects of all martial...

Self Defense for Women

According to the National Organization for Women, nearly one in five women will be assaulted at some point in their life.  The same source cites another staggering statistic.  In New York City alone, police respond to nearly 250,000 calls...

The Meaning and History Behind Karate Dojos

Anybody who has been to a modern day karate dojo has probably noticed some of the unique qualities they possess. But how many people know the reasons and traditions behind them? “Dojo” is a Japanese term, which translates to...

Martial Arts and Stress Relief

Psychologists have discovered positive correlations between practicing a traditional martial art and lower levels of hostility, aggression, and higher levels of self-esteem and overall positive attitude.   There are several aspects to...

What is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai is a type of hard martial art that is practiced in many parts of the world, but has the longest history in Thailand, where it originated and is now the national sport. The type of traditional Muay Thai that is practiced today is...

Karate vs. Taekwondo

When you’re thinking about engaging in martial arts training, you should first determine which form of martial arts is best suited for your abilities, philosophies, and lifestyle. Karate and Taekwondo are two common and separate forms for...

What is Kung Fu?

Kung Fu is a term that’s synonymous with the martial arts, but how much do you actually know about its meaning, history, and practices? Kung Fu is one of the most well-known and commonly studied styles of martial arts, second only to...

What is Self Defense Training?

  No one deserves to be assaulted. No one wants to be assaulted. But unfortunately, as anyone who reads the news can attest, the frequency of unmitigated violence is too high to ignore. Whether we want to recognize it or not, many of us will...

How Boxing Classes Can Benefit Your Body

If you’ve tried traditional workout methods, you’ve probably discovered that they can be tedious and it can take time to see results.  By taking boxing classes you can stay engaged and learn valuable self-defense techniques, while...

Lose Weight While Learning Martial Arts

Studying the martial arts is an amazing way to lose weight.  It’s such an entertaining way to exercise; you might not feel like you are performing a workout at all.  Spending an hour punching and kicking the pounds away will seem...

What is Jeet Kune Do?

Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the name that the legendary martial artist Bruce Lee gave to his unique combat system and philosophy. The underlying tenets of JKD are to use minimal movements to maximum effects, all at extreme speeds. The effect is impressive...

The Benefits of Taking a Grappling Class

It has been well established in the health and wellness community that the benefits of regular exercise are too numerous and essential to ignore. There are a lot of ways to approach exercise—and it can take some trial and error to discover...

Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Children

In a culture that seems to be saturated with violence in movies, television, video games, and even on the news, it’s normal to have some apprehension when your child tells you she would like to sign up for karate. Like many other things that...

Everything You Need to Know About Krav Maga

Krav Maga, translating to “contact combat,” is a style of mixed martial arts that was invented by the Israeli military in the 1940s. This style of training has been growing rapidly in popularity over recent years in the United States....

The Hidden Benefits of Martial Arts Training

The martial arts are a set of ancient practices that date back so far it is unclear when they truly began. While the physical aspects of martial arts are obvious, some of the greater benefits of practicing this long-standing tradition are related...

The Benefits of Learning Kickboxing in Little Neck NY

Although kickboxing was developed in the ‘60’s, its popularity has exploded in recent years as people discover the large number of benefits the sport has on their body and mind. Kickboxing is a full-contact sport that combines various...

Benefits of Martial Arts Training

One of the common responses as to why an individual would like to do martial arts, is "I want to get in shape but I find the gym very boring."  Martial Arts classes are then the perfect solution.   The reason for this is...
Page: 12345678 - All