Gilbert Melendez Talks About His Friend And Teammate Nick Diaz

October 17, 2011 11:55 am 24 Comments
Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez

“Every time you watch Nick Diaz, you’re about to see a fight and you can’t guarantee that with all these matches. A lot of people treat this as a sparring session or they could be a little boring, but when you see Nick Diaz, he’s there to fight and you’re gonna see a full-on exciting fight. The guy comes at you to fight; not to win on the scorecards and not to win the points, but to come out and finish the fight. He’ll test your heart, he’ll test your chin, and he’ll test everything about you. If you try to stall him out, he’ll talk you into a fight. He’ll tell you ‘stop being a sissy, fight me.’ I think the other thing about Nick Diaz is that he’s very bold and blunt, and he’s consistent. A lot of people get frustrated with a lot of the things he says, but most people wish they had the guts to be as honest as he is.”

“Obviously his boxing game has just become phenomenal. He used to know how to throw a lot of strikes, but now he knows how to slip punches better, and he’s so much better tactically. He knows how to block in the pocket, he can fight outside the pocket, he can make you feel anxiety and he can come at you, and his jiu-jitsu game has just evolved even more. He stays on top of his game the whole time and I think the main thing about him now is that he fights his fight. Before, he would fight to try to play the game with the scorecards or try to figure it out because these fights have time limits. He’s the type of the guy that if it was a fight to the death, Nick or (brother) Nate Diaz would win every time, but it’s not to the death, it’s to the scorecards, so I think he had a lot of time to adjust to winning a fight in 15 minutes, and now he’s adjusted. He’s putting people away in one round because he knows how to take them to that place they don’t want to go. And he’s willing to go there.”

Strikeforce lightweight champion took time out of his busy schedule to sit down with UFC.com and talk about his teammate, Nick Diaz in the lead up to next week’s UFC 137 clash with BJ Penn.

Very complimentary is the champ of his training partner and with good reason.

Nick Diaz is currently rated on BJPENN.COM’s top 10 welterweights as the third best in the division. He vacated the Strikeforce welterweight title to head to the UFC after a very impressive three-year, ten-fight unbeaten run across the globe. His only loss in this timeframe was to KJ Noons when a highly contested first round saw Diaz get cut and Noons earned a doctors stoppage victory. Outside of this blemish the Diaz reign has surpassed five-years without a loss.

Nick will now face his toughest test to date when he steps opposite BJ Penn at UFC 137 next weekend. While the resume of the Stockton native holds some very notable wins, he has failed in facing the best opposition since his initial departure from the UFC. He only has one fight with a former UFC champion on his record and it was a losing effort to Sean Sherk back in April of 2006.

The question that presents itself is… Has Diaz improved that much since leaving the UFC? And we will get the answer to the question in just 12 days.

*Click here for the latest UFC 137 coverage provided by BJPENN.COM

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