After Cerrone Win at UFC 141, Diaz Hopes for Title Run

By Mike Whitman Dec 31, 2011
Nate Diaz wants to fight the best, and few could argue with such a request after his performance at UFC 141 on Friday night.

The Stockton, Calif., product continually beat highly regarded Donald Cerrone to the punch en route to a unanimous decision victory at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The “Cowboy” now in his rear-view mirror, Diaz says he’s ready to make a run at the UFC lightweight championship.

“[I want to fight] the best person in my weight division,” Diaz said at the UFC 141 post-fight press conference. “Whoever they would like to give me, the highest ranked contender, that’s what I’m after. I want to fight for the championship. I just want to show the world I can fight the best fighters and beat the best fighters.”

Diaz did exactly that on Friday night, halting the red-hot Cerrone’s six-fight winning streak in impressive fashion. The Cesar Gracie product wasted no time in setting his pace, popping Cerrone with a long jab and following with crisp combinations in round one.

“I’ve had a really good boxing coach for the last six or seven years, Richard Perez,” Diaz explained regarding his preparation for Cerrone. “I’ve been working out with him. We go to spar with people all over the Bay Area. I work with as many kickboxers as I can. Nick [Diaz] is here to help coach me and spar with me and tell me what I’m doing wrong.”

While round one was all Diaz, Cerrone managed to put forth a better effort in round two, using leg kicks to disrupt the Californian’s relentless punch attack.

“He knocked me down with a couple of those leg kicks. I think I was lifting my front leg and he was kicking my back leg out pretty good. I knew that was making me look bad so, I just tried to get back up and do what I had to do,” Diaz said. “Nothing too devastating, but he hit me with some stuff. I got socked in my eye one time. I couldn’t see for a little bit, but I was all right most of the time.”

Following the bout, the two men shook hands, squashing what appeared to be a legitimate beef leading up to the fight. At Thursday’s weigh-in, Diaz knocked Cerrone’s trademark cowboy hat off of his head and shoved him backward. However, Diaz said that he never intended to play the villain; he simply wanted to fight at his best.

“I didn’t want to come off as a bad guy, but that’s just how it might have seemed. I just train hard. I come out to fight,” said Diaz. “The press, everybody was trying to get us real worked up. I try not to say anything. Fight day, you can get out there and get knocked down. I’m not a fortune teller. I can’t tell what’s gonna happen. I just try to say, I’m gonna go out there and work hard. But you’re not gonna catch me talking bad about somebody. I just don’t work that way.”
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