The one thing that Nick Diaz has become quite renowned for as a fighter as of late are his complaints with the sport itself, ranging from match-making and fight promotion to judging and fights themselves. Diaz is never a dull moment with a microphone in front of him, of course, and his second retirement from MMA in as many fights led many to consider what he’d do next. And apparently what he’s thought up of is actually really interesting.
It sounds kind of like a joke at first; someone without a high school diploma like Diaz getting into a complicated business venture like fight promotion seems like a bad ‘April Fool’s Day’ joke. Diaz is a great fighter and a bit temperamental, of course, but the fact that he’s seemingly bent on becoming another of California’s growing number of MMA promoters is something that could be made for comic fodder fairly easy. But here’s the thing: it’s actually one of those moments that could be very enlightening to Diaz and his rabid fanbase.
MMA promoting is hard business and the volumes who’ve failed at it outnumber the handful that has succeeded. Both of the biggest North American promotions, the UFC and Bellator, struggled for years to turn a profit and the list of fairly successful people who’ve lost volumes of cash on promoting MMA are fodder for the annals of the history of the sport. It’s easy to write about MMA, and what we think are mistakes and what aren’t, but one has to give anyone who’s promoted MMA more than once their due credit: promoting MMA is a tough business and few can last long enough to make real money doing it.
Considering he’s walked away from MMA as a fighter it’s surprising he’d go into promoting because he never seemed to be the type to be front and center without putting his hands on someone violently when he’s done with the buildup. As a promoter he’ll be giving interviews ad nausea, something he hates doing as a fighter, and his ability to sell a fight from the promoter’s point of view will be something that people are going to evaluate almost as fiercely as his fighting skills.
The other thing that’s most interesting about this is that it could represent Diaz’s ability to craft his MMA promotion around what he wants MMA to be as opposed to what he perceives it to be. Having to be the man who dictates behavior and ability, as well as try and dictate the product he’s trying to sell to a certain degree, will be a tremendous test of Diaz. He’s the one always complaining about the power of American wrestling and grinding style top position games, and of the scoring of a fight from Pride rules as opposed to modern UFC rules, and now will be his opportunity to do something about it.