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This is not a political story, in the party-politics sense at least. It is a story about protecting your reputation in the face of bureaucracy, modern corporate calculations, and the 24/7 cable sports and social media environment. The protagonist is one of two brothers who have fought professionally for practically their whole lives, and who are now reaching the age cruel to combat sports practitioners. In considering the latest tale of Nate Diaz, brother of Nick, we might find generally applicable lessons. In that sense, maybe you could take it as a parable for the politics of our day.
Nate Diaz officially weighs in at a very long and lean 170 pounds in the UFC. He has won 22 of his 33 professional fights. He fought his way into the UFC, out of other lower-level promotions, by winning the Ultimate Fighter 5 tournament. He is known as a working-class brawler from the rough part of town in Stockton, California, yet his victories break down 5 knockouts/ 12 submissions/ 4 decisions. That is, he is more likely to win choking or manipulating an arm until his opponent taps out, surrendering to avoid serious damage. At the same time, that mixture of wins and losses points away from ever being a fair-haired boy in the organization.
The Diaz brothers have always been known for playing the rebel; the “don’t give a [redacted]” fighters. This matters to our tale. Nate Diaz has also been known for fighting clean, long before the UFC teamed up with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a rigorous anti-doping regime. Nate has been vegetarian for a very long time, and he has that super-lean look all the time. He occasionally eats eggs or seafood, but these fit within the broad category of “vegetarian” practice and mean he is not exposed to the flesh of animals fed or injected with growth chemicals. He runs, really runs, all the time, so has endurance to burn. It can be the fifth five-minute round in a championship or main event and Nate Diaz can come out of his corner with a blur of hands and feet striking from all angles. This matters to our tale.