Nate Diaz earned a shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship's lightweight title with his imposing victory against Jim Miller at "UFC on Fox 3". Current lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, successfully defended his belt against Frankie Edgar at UFC 150, and he'll be in for another tough fight when he squares up against Diaz.
Diaz has certainly paid his dues over the years, and the "Ultimate Fighter" season five winner doesn't seem intimidated by Henderson in any way.
"I train with guys just like that," Nate Diaz said during a recent interview with Ron Kruck. "Athletic guys, strong guys that are good. It's definitely gonna be a good, hard fight. Now it's time to fight for a title, and I'm gonna do what I can to win that belt… I'm trying to do it for my team. [Expletive] the belt, I'm trying to beat the number one guy in the world and that's him right now."
Diaz is definitely a serious threat to Henderson's reign, considering the how good he's looked since his return to the lightweight division (he went 2-2 during a short stint in the UFC's welterweight division). He completely outclassed Takanori Gomi in his first fight back in the 155-pound division, and he put on a boxing clinic in his next fight against Donald Cerrone. Diaz displayed his evolution as an MMA fighter in his last outing against Miller with his greatly improved takedown defense.
Historically, Nate Diaz has struggled against high caliber wrestlers, but his performance against Miller did prove that he's ready for the likes of Henderson. Diaz' aggressive style should make the fight against Henderson quite entertaining, and his submission skills should keep things even if the battle goes to the ground.
I expect to see the best Nick Diaz ever when he squares up against Henderson, and I for one can't wait to watch these two get it on.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.