The importance of selling oneself in MMA has become increasingly important as the sport has grown over the past several years. As a result, there are now numerous competitors who either so mindful of the public’s perception they opt to present a whitewashed version of their actual personality or amp things up in an over-the-top manner (see: Chael Sonnen).
UFC welterweight Nick Diaz has been accused of the latter by some, acting out in a controversial manner to foster attention. However, Diaz says the opposite is true, as his behavior reflects his genuine feelings and that more of his peers would probably be viewed in a similar light if they weren’t afraid of being themselves.
“What you see is what you get. You get real martial arts, you get real fighting, (and) you get a real warrior mentality,” explained Diaz in a conversation with MMAFighting while at the open workouts for his upcoming bout with Carlos Condit. “Some people aren’t mature enough to handle it. This isn’t soccer. I have no problem being sportsmanlike about this whole thing. I understand it’s a sporting event. But to me this is a fight. I’m not going to let things change that to help this sport become what it is. I think this sport IS what it is. I don’t worry about looking good. I do what I’ve got to do to survive, to keep my teeth in my head, and my head on my shoulders. I apologize to whoever can’t put that together and understand that.”
“People try to say, ‘Nick Diaz, he’s crazy or not crazy or fake crazy’. I’m like, ‘Hey, bro, what you see is what you get.’ I’m not out here trying putting on an act like I’m crazy. In my opinion, everyone else is crazy,” he continued. “They’re the ones who put on an act for you, doing what they’re told in front of the camera…They turn these guys into robots. I’m just not going to be that guy. Don’t tell me I’m crazy. I’m out here acting natural. I’m the only one here being realistic out here about this sort of thing.”
Fans can catch Diaz-Condit at UFC 143 when things begin on PPV at 10:00 PM EST. The main card will be preceded by undercard pairings on Facebook/FX starting three hours earlier.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE