On Wednesday night before the Ultimate Fighting Championship launches into its tenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, where Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson will go head to head coaching heavyweight castoffs, NFL players and the “street certified” Kimbo Slice, Nate Diaz will have to overcome the toughest point in his career. Nate Diaz will have to turn his UFC career around and get back on the winning path.
Diaz will lock horns with Melvin Guillard on Ultimate Fight Night 19, and while stylistically this fight may be in Diaz’s favor, the true challenge is that Diaz is coming off of two very close losses; to Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson. The Stevenson loss was, if anything, a soul crushing defeat for the arrogant younger Diaz brother. The Diaz brothers have always prided themselves on their superior Gracie Jiu-Jitsu skills, and wrestler-turned-jiu-jitsu-artist Joe Stevenson was able to completely nullify Nate’s ground game. To see a fighter who was able to lock in a Triangle Choke, flex and flip off the crowd tied up, arms legs and head, unable to move was truly a shocking moment.
The Diaz brothers are known for being brash, arrogant, loud-mouthed and talented enough to back up everything they say, but somehow Nate Diaz finds himself with two losses in a row in a company that generally issues a pink slip to fighters after they suffer three losses in a row. The challenge that faces Nate Diaz is Melvin’s wrestling (Nick and Nate are not exactly known for takedown defense) and hard-hitting muay thai skills. Nate, like his brother, has a hard time turning down an invite to a firefight standing up and prides himself on his boxing skills. After the tough loss to Joe Stevenson, whose wrestling made a fool of Nate last time around, Nate needs to not lose faith in his jiu-jitsu. Especially against Guillard.
Melvin Guillard has a wrestling background to go with his crushing muay thai, but it seems like his wrestling has only led him into deeper waters that he was not yet ready for, as 6 out of his 7 losses were to submissions. Clearly both men are going to need completely different gameplans for this fight; Guillard looks to keep Nate standing up and knock him out, and Diaz to take this to the ground and gain another Submission of the Night honor and ensure some job security. The real test is to see if Nate can stick to his guns and use his superior jiu-jitsu against Guillard.
Both men are veterans of the reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” — Guillard from season 2 and Diaz from season 5 — the big difference being that Nate Diaz was the winner of his season and Melvin, well, not-so-much. Other than this, both man share a loss to Joe Stevenson, and while Diaz might have a bruised ego after his decision loss to Joe Daddy, Guillard, who was quickly tapped out, immediately claimed Joe Daddy was on Growth Hormone only to test positive for cocaine. This, on top of problems with the law over his cocaine abuse kept him out of action for a year, until June of this year with his disputed decision victory over Gleison Tibau.
This fight will not be pretty and most likely will not be long; Guillard is going to be head hunting and Diaz is going to be looking to exploit any mistake Guillard makes and tap him out. For Nate Diaz this is do or die, with his career possibly hanging in the balance, and with stakes like this there is no way that Nate Diaz won’t come in prepared. Wednesday night on SpikeTV is bound to be a night of UFC programming you won’t want to pass up on.