As coach of arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time, Firas Zahabi is well-placed to judge what makes a good fighter.
In this case, the Canadian heaped praise on the resilience of Nate Diaz. Speaking in a Q&A on the Tristar Gym YouTube channel, Zahabi said,
“If you put (Nate Diaz) in a fight where there is no time limit, I think he beats 99 percent of fighters.”
“You can’t sub him. You can’t finish him. The guy doesn’t stop walking forward. He puts volume on you. He is the scariest, in my opinion, street fighter in MMA.
“I think if you had to fight him in the street, man, you are in a fight for your life. Ain’t going to be no judges standing you up between rounds. There’s no judge to come and give you the win. No, no. This guy ain’t going away. I think if he had a no time limit fight with Leon Edwards, he beats Leon Edwards – and I have a tremendous admiration for Leon Edwards.”
“It’s normal to lose your composure. It takes a lot of experience to withstand that. That’s why i’m always telling you guys – look at Nate Diaz. He’s very special in his sense of composure. Nate Diaz, in my opinion, is the most composed fighter in UFC,” he said.
“Look at what McGregor did to him in round one of their first fight. He stayed cool. He stayed calm. He came back to win that fight! An incredible display of composure. This is something very unique in a fighter,” added Zahabi.
GSP famously fought Nate’s brother Nick at UFC 158; so Zahabi has plenty of experience when it comes to witnessed the fabled toughness of the Diaz brothers. ‘Rush’ was unable to find the finish but took home the unanimous decision in what was the eighth time he’d successfully defended the title.
GSP and Nick Diaz are now retired, although both are continually linked with comeback fights. Dana White recently even suggested that fans can expect to see the older Diaz brother in the Octagon later this year.
Nate, Meanwhile is looking to jump back in soon, and says he’ll fight anyone “that makes sense.” Diaz’s old rival Conor McGregor is of course fighting Dustin Poirier later this month at UFC 264. Considering that Diaz was supposed to fight Poirier in 2018 and, that the McGregor vs Diaz trilogy has the potential to break PPV records; it feels inevitable that Diaz will be linked to fighting the loser of that one.
Who do you want to see him fight next?
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