The UFC doesn’t have too many stars, but Nate Diaz is one of them. Born in Stockton, California, Diaz has long been a fan-favorite fighter who’s only recently started getting mainstream attention after he choked out Conor McGregor at UFC 196. Nowadays, Diaz enjoys plenty of attention, as well as money, from both fans and the UFC. Here are six things that you didn’t know about Nate Diaz.
1. Nate Diaz is not a big guy
The UFC enjoys creating narratives and drama like professional wrestling does. So it’s no surprise that after the UFC’s most famous star, McGregor, got beat for the first time in the organization, that they created a narrative to explain his loss. That narrative included McGregor claiming that Diaz was “three times his size” when the truth was far from that.
To the UFC’s credit, Diaz’s last three fights have been at welterweight, the 170 lb division. However, the vast majority of the fights that Diaz has ever fought were at lightweight, the 155-pound division. So while Diaz may be a tall guy compared to McGregor, they’re actually evenly matched in terms of weight.
2. He was on vacation
We detailed the storylines that explained McGregor’s loss to Nate Diaz, but the UFC’s narratives work both ways. Not only did Diaz beat McGregor on 10 days notice, but when the UFC called him to see if he could fight McGregor, Diaz was on vacation in Cabo, Mexico.
3. He’s a lifelong pescatarian
Pescetarianism is often mistaken for a vegetarian or vegan diet, but it’s a bit different. Like vegans and vegetarians, pescatarians eat mostly non-animal products. However, for a pescatarian, seafood is generally OK to eat. Diaz has been a pescatarian since he was 18, and he credits it as a big reason for his success.
4. Diaz got into the sport for free burritos
Nate Diaz and his older brother, Nick, have a tight bond, and when they were younger, Nick had to provide for Nate. But Nick didn’t have any money, so the two would often be hungry. But then, with a stroke of luck, the guys at a local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym offered Nick and Nate free burritos every time that they trained with them.
They did just that, and eventually, both became black belts in jiu-jitsu. Although both Diaz brothers have other skills in their arsenals, jiu-jitsu is one that they’re both well-known for, and it’s all thanks to those free burritos that they got as kids for training in the martial art.
5. He slapped Dana White
McGregor refused to do any promotion for the fight because he wanted to focus on training, and so the UFC pulled him from the fight. Then Diaz demanded more money because he felt like the UFC wasn’t paying him enough.
After some in-person negotiations, White and Diaz settled and apparently one part of their deal was that Diaz got to slap his boss in the face.
6. Nate Diaz takes credit for the UFC’s CBD Sponsorship
After Diaz lost to McGregor by majority decision in their rematch, Diaz sparked some controversy by smoking a CBD joint in the post-fight conference. The Nevada state athletic commission had banned his brother for smoking weed before a fight, so fans were worried he’d get treated the same way.
However, that joint sparked a silent revolution in acceptance of CBD and marijuana in the UFC, as not long after, marijuana stopped being a banned substance. The UFC is now sponsored by Aurora Cannabis, a company that produces CBD products. That was why Diaz smoked a CBD joint during an open workout, and nothing came of it other than cheers and applause. As a result, Nate Diaz claims that the sponsorship and the acceptance of CBD and weed was thanks to him, and as far as anyone knows, he’s right about it.