MMA star Diaz over the edge

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:26 PM ET

He’s as warm and welcoming as a wasp’s nest.

In fact, in interview after interview, Nick Diaz has shown that he doesn’t really like much of anything — except for maybe fighting and marijuana.

He’s as gritty as sandpaper and has never met an opponent he couldn’t disrespect.

He’s an admitted pot user who says he’s run marathons while high.

His love for weed even cost him a victory over Takanari Gomi after the fight was ruled a no-contest as a result of Diaz’ positive test for cannabis.

The irreverent Strikeforce welterweight champ has even been involved in a streetclothes brawl that broke out in the Strikeforce cage after friend and training partner Jake Shields defeated Dan Henderson.

Diaz easily landed the most punches on Jason “Mayhem” Miller — who crashed Shields’ post-fight interview to ask for a rematch and was swarmed by Diaz and his Cesar Gracie teammates.

But the enigma that is Nick Diaz knows how to fight.

The 27-year-old Stockton, Calif., native is one of the most talented — and perhaps unstable — 170-pounders on the planet.

And in the buildup to this Apr. 9 title fight against challenger Paul Daley, Diaz doesn’t seem to have lost any of his edge.

“I’m not overly impressed with Paul Daley’s MMA skills, as far as a well-rounded fighter,” says the 24-and-7 Diaz.

Diaz says he doesn’t think a win over Daley will catapult him in the ranks — citing that he’s already ahead of him.

On a nine-fight win streak, Diaz has taken down some big names including Frank Shamrock, K.J. Noons and Hayato Sakurai.

Pure puncher

But in Daley, Diaz is facing an equally controversial fighter and easily the toughest pure puncher he’s ever faced.

Daley was banished from the UFC last year following his fight with Josh Koscheck in which he sucker punched his opponent well after the fight was over.

The brash Brit says he’s not intimidated by Diaz’ stronger ground game.

“It’s no secret that I’m not a jiu-jitsu wizard, and I hate wrestlers that are just going to lay-and-pray,” says Daley, who is 27-9-2 with 20 of his wins coming by (T)KO.

“My offence is to knock people out, and I’ve been very successful doing it.”

He says, even though he respects Diaz, he sees nothing special in fighting him.

“I just see this as another fight. I’m not too interested in anything else. I’m just interested in paying my bills,” says Daley, who is a training partner to the UFC’s Dan Hardy.

“I’m not really thinking how this will affect me and the U.S. fans who will love me one day and then just call me a British bully the other day. I’m not too fussed. I just want to fight and bring the belt back to the U.K.”

Strikeforce Diaz vs Daley also features a lightweight title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri.

The fight is available in Canada on SuperChannel.

jose.rodriguez@sunmedia.ca


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