Nick Diaz has become one of MMA’s biggest draws, not only because of his aggressive style and furious pace, but because of the fighter’s polarizing personality. In other words, whether people love him or hate him, everyone tunes in when it’s time for Diaz to throw down.

According to Diaz, however, his reputation for being a controversial figure is more about how he’s marketed and portrayed. During the height of Diaz’s rivalry with Georges St-Pierre, the Stockton fighter argued that he’s often misunderstood, and leading up to his UFC 183 bout with Anderson Silva, he’s repeated that sentiment.

While speaking to recently, in advance of this Saturday’s fight, Diaz relayed:

“I’d rather not be portrayed as an evil villain,” Diaz said. “But if people want to make me out to be that, and it sells tickets, that’s fine. But I do hope people understand that this is just what sells, and not what’s really me. I’m just a mixed-martial artist from Stockton, California. And I’m still here.”

Of course, Diaz’s detractors might not agree with the outspoken fighter’s take here, but no can deny he’s at the top of the ‘must see’ list. The 31 year-old also offered this interesting take on why he fights:

“I don’t fight because I’m fanatical about fighting,” added Diaz. “I’m not out there to win a belt. I’m not out there to be the baddest dude in the world, although it started off that way. But you don’t make it this far if you have a whole lot of quit in you.”

Yes, there’s no question Diaz remains one of the hardest working fighters in all of MMA, and there’s a good reason he’s also considered to be one of the sport’s toughest fighters. Case in point, Diaz has been stopped twice in 35 pro bouts, and one those, versus KJ Noons, was due to cuts.

Silva-Diaz will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, January 31st. It could be one crazy night.