He may be the lesser-known Diaz to some, but as Nate Diaz closes in on a chance to earn a lightweight title shot with a win over Jim Miller at Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 3 event, we take a closer look at the formative years for one member of the fighting Diaz clan.
May 4, 2012 - If you want to understand anything about the Diaz brothers, you should probably get yourself to Stockton. If you want to understand the important differences between Nick and Nate Diaz, and how the latter’s life might have turned out very differently if not for the former, you should probably go twice.
That’s how it worked out for me, anyway. In retrospect, I’m actually kind of glad it happened that way. But only in retrospect.
The first time I went to Stockton was in the summer of 2009, when I was sent there to do a cover story on Nick for Fight Magazine. I was there for three days, and I never even saw the man. Not once. Not even after I waited all afternoon one Sunday in a Mexican restaurant with a photographer who wanted to know if all MMA fighters were this difficult (they aren’t). Not even after I staked out his gym in downtown Lodi literally all the next day, only to have one of his blue belts flash me a confused look when I asked if he was expecting Nick to show up at any point.
“I wouldn’t think so,” he said, as if the question itself was slightly ridiculous. I left yet another voicemail for Nick, then the next morning I left Stockton without my story.
I thought about that failed venture every time I heard Nick complain that nobody would put him on the cover of a magazine. I thought about it when he insisted that no reporters would dare come to Stockton and see the world from his point of view. You better believe I thought about it when the UFC Magazine wanted to send me back there to do a story on Nick’s younger brother a little over a year later. No thanks, I thought at first. I got a good look at that Mexican restaurant the first time. What reason was there to think that Nate would be any easier to work with than Nick had been?
I found out how wrong I was almost as soon as I got to town. Nate had just finished training for the evening, he told me via text as I made the drive from the Oakland airport into Stockton. Did I want to meet him and some friends of his for smoothies? After briefly considering the possibility that smoothies was slang for a crazy type of weed I didn’t even know about, I told him sure, I could drink a smoothie. When I showed up at the smoothie place and he was actually there, as promised, I knew we were already off to a better start.
Click for the rest: http://www.mmafighting.com/2012/5/4/2998733/a-tale-of-two-diaz-brothers