Biography and Profile of Nick Diaz

Shamrock vs. Diaz
Nick Diaz (Top) battles Frank Shamrock at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz at HP Pavilion on April 11, 2009 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Nick Diaz was born on August 2, 1983, in Stockton, California. He fights out of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with the UFC organization.


Diaz had a difficult childhood and grew up without his biological father in Stockton, California. As a child, his mother got him into swimming classes. Though Diaz only went to Tokay High School for one year before dropping out, he did participate as a member of the swim team for that one year and has indicated that being a swimmer has helped his cardio as an MMA fighter tremendously.

Martial Arts Training

Diaz was bullied as a child and started training in martial arts to combat this. Along with this, he has been training under Cesar Gracie in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) since his teens and was awarded a black belt from him in 2007. As a BJJ competitor, Diaz was the US Purple Belt Open in 2004 and took home the Pan American Brow Belt Medium Weight Division title in 2005.

Diaz teaches jiu-jitsu at Pacific Coast Martial Arts in Stockton. He also trains in boxing with former WBC and WBA champion, Luisito Espinosa, as well as gold medal boxer Andre Ward.

Fighting Style

Diaz is known for his outstanding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission skills. His background with Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu makes him a nightmare for opponents both on his back in the guard and on top on the ground. Diaz is also an underrated boxer that utilizes his long reach to pepper opponents unmercifully. Eventually, those shots that didn’t look very hard early on begin to hurt later in the fight.

Diaz is widely considered to be one of the toughest fighters in MMA; there is no quit in him. In accordance with his participation in triathlons, he is always in marvelous cardio condition for his fights.

Brother in Fighting

Former TUF 5 Lightweight Champion and current UFC contender Nathan Diaz is Nick’s younger brother.

Breakout Fight Versus Robbie Lawler

Robbie Lawler was widely considered to be the future of the welterweight division when he took on Nick Diaz at UFC 47. Further, Diaz was thought to hold little chance of defeating Lawler in a stand-up war, as that was Lawler’s forte.

But Diaz actually took the striking battle to his adversary, consistently beating him to the punch and taking Octagon control. In fact, some Diaz taunting, which isn’t unusual given his persona, caused Lawler to swing away and open himself up to a right hook from his opponent that ended the fight.

With the knockout victory, Nick Diaz put himself on the MMA map for good.

Bad Blood Between Nick Diaz and KJ Noons

After former EliteXC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons defeated Yves Edwards by way of knockout at EliteXC: The Return of the King on June 14, 2008, the Diaz brothers entered the cage to hype a possible fight between Nick and KJ (a rematch). After a lot of heated discussion back and forth between the two camps, a fight nearly broke out. Included in the back and forth was Noons’ father, who had entered the cage to celebrate victory with his son.

The bad blood between Diaz and Noons started when Noons stopped his opponent via a cut at EliteXC: Renegade on November 10, 2007. Diaz was upset that the fight had been stopped.

Marijuana and Suspensions

After losing a controversial decision to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites in a post-fight drug test. At a hearing in May 2012, he was suspended for one year, retroactive to February 4, 2012, and fined 30 percent of his purse for the fight.

At UFC 183, Nick Diaz fought Anderson Silva in 'The Spider's' return bout from a leg injury sustained during a low kick against then-champion Chris Weidman. A few days after the fight, the UFC revealed that Diaz had again failed a drug test for marijuana metabolites. On September 14, 2015, the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Diaz for five years for the transgression and fined him as well. The public outcry was tremendous, especially considering that Silva, who had fought Diaz, was suspended for far less time after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the same fight.

Some Great Nick Diaz Victories

  • Nick Diaz defeats BJ Penn via unanimous decision at UFC 137: Diaz beat Penn up on his feet after a tough inaugural round. With the win, he announced himself as a legitimate contender to the welterweight crown.
  • Nick Diaz defeats Takanori Gomi via gogoplata at PRIDE 33 (overturned due to Diaz testing positive for marijuana): No, this victory does not count as it was overturned when Diaz tested positive for a banned substance. Still, his fight with former PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi was one of the best back and forth striking battles you’ll ever see. It ended with an outstanding gogoplata submission by Diaz in the second round.
  • Nick Diaz defeats Robbie Lawler by second-round KO at UFC 47: Lawler was supposed to destroy Diaz. Instead, Diaz gave him a lesson in toughness, striking, and head games on his way to a knockout victory.
  • Nick Diaz defeats Jeremy Jackson by TKO at IFC WC 18 in round one: At the time, Jackson had handed Diaz the only defeat of his career. Diaz’s victory here represented payback.