Nate Diaz isn't too optimistic about his chances in the Octagon, but that hasn't stopped the former title challenger from having massive success in the UFC.
Nate Diaz is a special breed of fighter. Unlike most fighters, Diaz doesn’t prepare for his bouts with a positive mindset. In fact, according to the Stockton local, who rematches Conor McGregor in a welterweight tilt at UFC 202, Diaz goes into fights thinking he's 'probably gonna get knocked out.'
The former lightweight title challenger spoke about his preparation for UFC 202 on 'Conan' earlier this week.
"I write it off from the beginning like, ‘I'm probably gonna get knocked out,'" Diaz said, per MMA Fighting. "Just take that and accept it. And then go in there and make it happen. When it doesn't happen, when you come out with a win, that's pretty exciting."
McGregor, on the other hand, wouldn't dare utter a word of negativity out loud. Instead, the Irishman turns the negativity towards his opponents, finding a single gap in the armour -- whether physical or mental -- and exposing it to the media. Prior to UFC 196, which saw Diaz submit 'The Notorious' in the second round with a rear-naked choke, the tactic had worked very well. McGregor's unerring confidence and bravado seemed to fluster previous opponents, but Diaz was having none of it.
Diaz, who is ranked as the No. 4 lightweight in the world, considers himself a 'realist' in a sport full of optimists.
"They're all full of it. I'm a realist, man," Diaz said. "I accept the fact that there's a probability you're gonna get taken out and it's gonna be pretty embarrassing. I accept that and go out there and don't let it happen. And hopefully come out on top."
Despite his realistic outlook, which some would view as more pessimistic than realistic, Diaz has only been knocked out once in 30 fights -- Josh Thompson scored a head kick TKO over the Cesar Gracie black belt at UFC on FOX 7 -- and has proved to be one of the hardest fighters to finish on the UFC roster.
His rematch with McGregor will headline the UFC 202 pay-per-view on August 20 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.