Friday, October 7, 2022

The Top 10 Nate Diaz Finishes

In honor of tonight’s UFC 279 main event against Tony Ferguson possibly finishing his time in the promotion, let’s have a look back at the top 10 Nate Diaz finishes.

10. Manny Gamburyan: TUF 5 Finale

Considered one of the best seasons of TUF ever, with Diaz being one of the biggest highlights, the two Team Pulver finalists had fought their way to the final. Diaz had just defeated Greg Maynard by guillotine choke in the semi-final.

The two Team Pulver teammates donned some mirrored, mustard yellow and Thanos purple shorts. Gamburyan sunk a deep guillotine early, but Nate slipped out and pulled guard.

Eventually, Nate got to his feet, giving his back in the process, but they would be back on the ground soon again. Nate attempted to bring his leg up for a triangle, but Gamburyan maintained massive pressure.

Every time they were reset to Nate’s guard, Nate would attempt some submission, chaining between a triangle, kimura, omaplata, and armbars for the final two minutes. Nate would rock Gamburyan early with his iconic 1-2 (that’ll be a theme here), before Gamburyan would shoot a takedown that would cause his shoulder to become dislocated.

9. Alvin Robinson: UFC FN 12

Alvin Robinson was 1-1 in UFC, having lost to Kenny Florian, who was just starting his legendary run that would be stopped by BJ Penn. Nate starts very strong, slams Robinson after clinching.

Nate threw elbows and stepped over into a closed half-butterfly. He would then slam himself into a half guard guillotine and move to pass immediately. Nate attempted to posture up and got side control with a nice slide.

Diaz moved Robinson away from the cage, rolled into a shoulder lock but got swept, ending up in guard. Nate is constantly attempting to throw up a submission. Eventually he would throw up the triangle, getting it so tight forcing Robinson to tap immediately.

8. Júnior Assunção: UFC FN 11

This was Diaz’s first in the UFC after winning TUF against Manny Gamburyan. Nate clinched early, got into a standing kimura lock and used it to throw. Assunção tried to sweep Diaz, but Nate got up fast.

Diaz tried another kimura takedown to end up in half guard and gave up his back, but the two continued to roll. Super technical. They got out of the transition back to their feet and Nate rocked Assunção, locked up a guillotine, and doesn’t even need to sink the hooks in to get the tap. Great club ’n’ sub.

7. Jim Miller: UFC on FOX 3

Jim Miller was 21-3 coming into this fight, having lost only to Frankie Edgar, Grey Maynard, and Benson Henderson, and had never been finished. The fight began with Miller pressuring early and pushing pace. This was an excellent example of two amazing grapplers neutralizing each other’s grappling.

Miller slipped and they ended up back in the center. Jim clinches next, but it was short lived. Next, Nate rocked Miller with a few right hands, utilizing his reach excellently. Nate’s 1-2 got through and dropped Miller, but he can’t cinch up the guillotine, and gets swept, initializing a roll.

R2 starts with the pair exchanging leg kicks, but Nate’s 1-2 is there almost every time. Nate begins to really push ahead, landing big power shots with fist and elbow. Miller shoots, and Nate rocks up a power guillotine, rolls into a mounted guillotine, and it’s all over, becoming the first man to finish Miller.

6. Melvin Guillard: UFC FN 19

This was Diaz’s second main event in the promotion, and Guillard’s lone loss in eight fights, with wins over Dennis Siver, Gleison Tibau and Jeremy Stephens. Nate got dropped early but Guillard doesn’t want any of Nates’ ground game and lets him back up.

At some point, Nate begins bleeding profusely. Diaz lands a solid check right and another takedown, but Guillard got back up almost immediately, only for Nate to land a beautiful Stockton slap. Guillard lands a big left, but Nate shrugs it off, putting his hands up.

Nate then threw a sick attempt at a rice-bale roll right at the bell off a standing Kimura. Nate catches Guillard him with a solid 1-2 early in R2, who then shot a takedown when he’s rocked, Nate throws up a modified guillotine, and it’s all over.

5. Rory Markham: UFC 111

This was a banger! Diaz was fighting up two weight classes, on short notice, and he was crisp! Nate waited for counters against the power puncher, and his check right was there every time. He came in over the top of Markham’s overhand every time.

Nate began to pressure, causing Markham to shell up, and a knee straight up the middle buckled him bad. Nate wrapped up hooks into a body triangle and then flattened him out before raining down ground and pound, securing the victory.

4. Kurt Pellegrino: UFC FN 13

The iconic Nate Diaz middle finger incident. The fight began with a competitive first round that left Nate bloody. In the second round, Pelligrino shot a blast double, got it, and went into Nate’s guard. Nate went for a Kimura, but Kurt popped out. The finishing sequence saw Nate rolling for a leg but getting to his feet. Pelligrino lifted him and slammed him hard, giving Nate the opening to throw up the triangle immediately. Middle fingers up, it’s all over!

3. Gray Maynard III: TUF 18 Finale

The main event of TUF 18, six years on from when Diaz won TUF 5 featured the trilogy bout between Diaz and Gray Maynard. Diaz finished Maynard in the first bout to win his place in the final, and lost a controversial split-decision in the second. It would be a stiff left hand following on from a failed takedown attempt that would sit Maynard down before Nate used his iconic 1-2 to begin the finishing sequence.

2. Takanori Gomi: UFC 135

Diaz was coming off back-to-back losses to Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald, both by decision. Gomi was 32-7, with one of those losses coming to Nate’s brother Nick in Pride. The loss was overturned due to Nick testing positive for THC after the fact.

However, desperate to improve his UFC record to 2-2, Gomi took on the younger brother, and got stopped by an armbar late in the first round. Diaz looked unstoppable, taunting Gomi at points on the feet, and seemed able to do whatever he wanted with Gomi, transitioning between armbars and triangles to eventually get the tap.

1. Conor McGregor: UFC 196

I bet you’re thinking “I’m not surprised, motherf*cker”. How could this not be #1? Diaz went from making $20k/$20k to becoming one of the biggest stars in the sport. McGregor and Nate spent the first round beating each other senseless before Diaz landed his off-beat 1-2, 1-2, Conor shot a double, and from there it was only a matter of time before Nate ended McGregor’s unbeaten streak in the UFC and became the first man to finish McGregor.

Do you agree with this top ten list? Can Nate add one more finish tonight among the carnage currently going on surrounding UFC 279?

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