If you ask Chael Sonnen, Nate Diaz is a genius — but it isn’t by design.
Few are doubting Diaz’s star power following UFC 241. The Stockton native made his entrance to the roar of the crowd inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. On that night, UFC 241 broke a record with the largest gate for an MMA event in the state of California. Diaz defeated Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision and after the bout, UFC president Dana White admitted that Diaz is a “needle mover.”
Sonnen took a clip from the latest edition of his You’re Welcome podcast and posted it on his YouTube channel. In the video, Sonnen said that Diaz is a genius despite not having things planned out.
“I just think when you look at somebody like Nate Diaz, who unintentionally, many people will believe he’s a marketing genius and many people will believe he just stumbled into something. I believe he’s an unintentional genius. What he does is absolutely brilliant, I just don’t think there was a strategy ahead of time.”
Sonnen went on to say that Diaz’s authenticity is what fight fans can relate to.
“One thing about him is he’s real. He’s authentic. When he speaks and he says something, there’s no tongue-in-cheek. There’s no winking, there’s no trying to get eyeballs and sell pay-per-views. There’s a real guy with real guy problems, from a real tough city in a real tough sport that’s trying to get by. And there’s just something there that people can relate to and it’s special. It’s not overly creative, it’s not manufactured in any way. It’s basic, it’s humble, it’s clean, it’s honest. It’s compelling.”
Do you think Nate Diaz’s popularity stems from unintentional brilliance?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/28/2019.