The idea of a big show and a bigger paycheck drives Nate Diaz, whether it means a rubber match with Conor McGregor, a scrap with Dustin Poirier or a battle with any other top-shelf lightweight or welterweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
As fans await Diaz’s return to the Octagon, here are some of the numbers that helped make him one of the most entertaining fighters of all-time:
4: Fights under the World Extreme Cagefighting banner, where he went 3-1. Diaz made his professional MMA debut in the WEC, as he submitted Alejandro Garcia with a third-round triangle choke in in October 2004. He stopped two more opponents in the promotion before losing to Hermes Franca in a lightweight title fight at WEC 24.
3: Three submission wins on Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” setting the stage for his tournament final opposite Manny Gamburyan at “The Ultimate Fighter 5” Finale on June 23, 2007. Gamburyan suffered a shoulder injury while shooting for a takedown in the second round. The fight was stopped immediately, as Diaz was declared the winner.
5: Wins without a loss to start his UFC career. After emerging from “The Ultimate Fighter 5,” Diaz won three straight fights via submission before exiting an action-packed battle with Josh Neer with a split decision. The encounter earned “Fight of the Night” honors.
3: Two-fight losing streaks in his career. Diaz’s first defeat in the UFC came to Clay Guida and was followed by another setback against Joe Stevenson. He also lost two in a row to Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald in 2011 and two straight to Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson in 2012-13.
15: Post-fight bonuses won in the UFC, tying him for first on the promotion’s all-time list. Diaz shares the distinction with Joe Lauzon. He has won eight “Fight of the Night” awards, five “Submission of the Night” awards, one “Knockout of the Night” award and one “Performance of the Night” award.
7: UFC submissions as a lightweight, tying him with Jim Miller for the most in company history. Diaz tapped Miller with a guillotine choke in the UFC on Fox 3 main event on May 5, 2012.
1: Career loss by submission. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie, Diaz has only been submitted by Franca in his 30-fight career. Franca did the honors with an armbar.
44: Percent significant striking accuracy. Diaz has become known for his voluminous and efficient standup, which he can use to confuse, annoy or toy with his opponents. He has landed 1,210 significant strikes in UFC competition, per FightMetric.
8: First-round stoppages to his credit. Outside of the UFC, Diaz’s victims were Tony Juares, Gilbert Rael and Dennis Davis. He has been even more successful inside the Octagon, finishing off Junior Assuncao, Alvin Robinson, Rory Markham, Takanori Gomi and Gray Maynard inside one round.
166: Significant strikes landed against McGregor in their landmark UFC 202 rematch. McGregor answered with 164 of his own. Diaz also secured one takedown but failed to curry favor with two of the three cageside judges. The five-round clash remains one of the best fights in UFC history.