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Nate Diaz: “F*ck the belt, I’m trying to beat the #1 guy in the world…”

Now that the lightweight title-fight between UFC champion Benson Henderson and top contender Nate Diaz has been officially announced as the headliner for the organization’s return to FOX in December the two talented 155ers have started offering up assessments of the match-up with each showing a good deal of respect for the others’ abilities. In fact, not only does Diaz appreciate the challenge Henderson presents as an adversary, but he feels coming out on top against an individual with the title-holder’s skill-set is more of a motivating factor than the thought of strapping UFC gold around his waist.

“F*ck the belt, I’m trying to beat the #1 guy in the world and that’s him right now,” said Diaz in an interview with Inside MMA, adding, “I train with guys just like (him) – athletic guys, strong guys. He’s definitely gonna be a good, hard fight.”

Henderson also gave his thoughts on Diaz, pointing to the Stockton scrapper’s demeanor in the ring being as much of a threat as his stand-up and submission prowess.

“First and foremost I gotta keep my emotional state in check. Skill-wise, he brings very crisp boxing and knockout power in his submission game,” explained Henderson. “You make a mistake, he’s gonna catch your neck and you’re gonna go to sleep or you gotta tap.”

UFC on FOX 5 is scheduled for December 8. Henderson will enter the bout with wins in all five of his appearances inside the Octagon, while Diaz has had his hand raised in a trio of consecutive tilts.

Watch below to see all of the comments from Henderson/Diaz:


  • Angry Mike says:

    This should be a great fight. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Diaz wins.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Agreed. The opening betting odds seem absurd; I think Diaz has a very real shot to win this, the guy’s on a tear and Bendo won’t have a size advantage. This has FOTN written all over it.

  • That’s the attitude that makes champions and both these guys have it. The most interesting aspect of this fight is how is Ben going to approach Diaz’s style? We know what Nate’s gonna do, he’s gonna come forward throw 1,000,000 punches from every angle, call Ben a bitch, and wait for Ben to either fold under the sheer volume or get desperate and shoot an ill fated takedown.

    The only problem I see with this fight, is we have to wait till december to watch it.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Bendo is no Rory, but he’ll have a size/strength advantage nonetheless and I expect he’ll be able to control the bulk of the action.

    But Nate is tough. Ben almost certainly won’t finish him, and 25 minutes will provide ample opportunity for Nate to try to slip in a submission. Ben has escaped some sick sub attempts in the past, but Nate is obviously legit and if he locks something in that’s likely a wrap.

    I’ve got Bendo picking up his 6th decision victory in as many tries since joining the UFC, but I agree this is a fairly even matchup and should be a fun fight to watch with fast-paced action from opening to final bell.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    And I don’t mean to suggest Ben is significantly bigger overall than Nate, but Bendo’s incredibly powerful base is what will give him an advantage and what I think will allow him to control much of the action.

  • That makes sense Richard and though Bendo was able to throw Jim Miller around, let’s not forget the animal that MIller is, and he couldnt do anything at all with Nate. Bendo might be able to control Nate for awhile, but just like Dong Hyun Kim, I dont think he’ll be able to do it the whole fight, and we’ll see Ben gas for the first time ever when Nate just wont slow down.

  • jasonah says:

    I think Diaz has Got this, BENdo dont want this On The ground, and He’s going to be forced to stand and trade, and as a previous poster said ” a thousand punches from Different angles” I going to call a U.D round 5 for Diaz.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I see all around the internet the mma fans are really confident Nate is going to walk in there and take the strap with ease….

    I’m not going to underestimate the champ, while overstating the challenger…

    Nate isn’t going to roll through bendo, matter of fact I see Bendo winning.

  • Lord Faust says:

    I think Nate has a real enough shot that it should be almost 50/50 odds. Nate has really turned a corner lately, and he seems to have a much better outlook than his older brother. They both implement a very similar style, but given how Nate’s been conducting himself as of late I would expect him to fight intelligently.

    Obviously Nate wants to turn this into a Stockton-style brawl, but he’d be a fool to think Bendo isn’t going to look very closely at how Condit stifled Nick and try and implement a similar gameplan. I lot hinges on whether or not Nate goes into this fight expecting to force the brawl — which, admittedly he did perfectly with Cerrone — or he approaches this tactically. Bendo is no Cowboy, and as shown in his rematch with Edgar, he does not mind winning on points. (Not a knock here, just a statement.)

  • Screenplaya says:

    I think this is bad matchup for Ben. He will be facing an extremely precise striker with a reach advantage who he will not want to take to the ground. Unless Bendo can leg kick Nate into oblivion, I have a hard time seeing his route to victory.

    Of course, Ben surely can kick the legs out from under someone….

    Looking forward to this one, but I see it going Nate’s way.

  • Sumoninja says:

    Agree with screenplaya. Nate’s a tough matchup for anyone these days. High level aggressive striking coupled with high level aggressive jiu jitsu and ridiculous cardio makes it tough even for someone so well rounded like Benson. Still, I see it VERY close.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Whoever ends up winning, I just hope the opponent doesn’t get an instant rematch

  • Lord Faust says:

    I kind of hope Bendo tries to outbox him… call me a mark if you want, but I just love watching the Diaz brothers throw hands.

    If either guy wins, I won’t be shocked. (Unless it’s a win via shenanigans.)


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