“Yeah, well, I looked up to him for his art and his style. I didn’t really look up to him personally. I think he is a good guy. He’s not a bad guy at all, but I didn’t look up to him personally like a teacher or something. Some of the things he did in the past, I didn’t agree with. He was originally a Ralph Gracie student, and what he learned there was some incredible things and that was 3 to 4 years before I even got put onto it. He was learning it from a real instructor and I didn’t have that at the time. I would have represented where I came from if I did have that. I just don’t think he put out the respect to Ralph that I would have. I was also a martial artist first before I started learning Jiu Jitsu and I just remember him because he came from Ralph Gracie Jiu Jitsu and that’s what we have in common. We learned the same Jiu Jitsu and it shows up; blocking high guard, being in bad positions, and still being able to fight because we came from the same background that I came from pretty much. I just have a little bit more respect for where I came from. You don’t see me going around saying, “Diaz MMA, Diaz MMA, Diaz Fight Gym and Diaz Training Camp!” I came from Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu when I was 16. I trained with Gil Castillo, Steve Heath, Dave Tirrell, and Jake Shields, and that’s who I am. That’s who I’m always going to be and that’s the reason why I am who I am today because I came from there. And where did BJ Penn come from? He came from BJ Penn Hawaii or what? He don’t come from nothing. None of these people do. You know where Georges St. Pierre comes from? I just had a conversation about this last night.”
“He came from a Renzo Gracie Black Belt; I forget his name. He is a Renzo Gracie Black Belt though and this is the guy who taught Georges St. Pierre. So Georges St. Pierre wouldn’t even be capable of being a contender or choking anybody or knowing dominant positions or any of that if he didn’t have the same Jiu Jitsu that I learned from the same family. You only gotta go down a few generations to find out where this came from. We all got our Jiu Jitsu from the same place; BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre and me. They gotta respect and understand where the martial arts that we use come from. They want to feel so special and important and say, “Look at me!” I’m saying, “This is Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu,” and I represent where my training comes from. I always represent my boxing trainer and who he…Richard Perez and the people that I train with, you know? The only thing that I’m going to ever represent is my team that helped me get there, you know?”
Nick Diaz talks to Fighthype.com about his feelings towards BJ Penn and Georges St. Pierre, and the similarity in all their lineages. Diaz, who is coming off the biggest win of his career at UFC 137 over Penn, argues towards the importance of respecting your history and lineage, as he feels many fighters aren’t giving credit to where they came from. It would seem that Diaz is none too impressed with many of today’s MMA training facilities, but is he correct with his assessment?
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