Trash-talking has become a regularity in modern MMA. But way before Twitter beefs or fighters posting videos to the Instagram stories, Diego Sanchez recently revealed that former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz used to send him hate e-mails “talking sh-t” about his mom and dad.
Now 37, Diaz built a reputation across his MMA career as an outspoken fan favorite—notable for his anti-authority attitude. He hasn’t competed in MMA since dropping a 2015 bout to middleweight legend Anderson Silva. But his beef with Sanchez goes back a lot lot further than Diaz’s third, post-Strikeforce UFC run. According to Sanchez, Diaz’s disdain for him came from the attention Sanchez received while on the first season of the Ultimate Fighter back in 2005. A hatred that led Diaz to personally hunt down Sanchez’s email and send him abuse.
“Me and Nick Diaz hated each other,” Sanchez said on Mike Swick’s Real Quick podcast (Transcription via MMA Fighting). “Nick Diaz used to send me e-mails. He found my e-mail, he talked to one of the MMA journalists at the time, there wasn’t many. Gave him my e-mail and he would e-mail me hate mails.
“Bad sh-t. Talking sh-t about my mom, talking sh-t about my dad, just trying to get under my skin with everything he had. He hated me. He hated Ultimate Fighters because we got all that attention. He was in the spotlight at that time, he hated us and he hated me.”
Fortunately for Sanchez, one of the fighters who could really back up his story and the feeling from other fighters toward TUF talent at the time was Mike Swick himself. The former UFC middleweight and welterweight appeared on that first season of the Ultimate Fighter as well, and verified that, to already established UFC fighters the reality show contestant were seen as “TV guys”.
“People don’t realize that when we came off The Ultimate Fighter, we became stars in the UFC and people forget the fact it was hard for us,” Swick said. “The UFC fighters and the UFC gave us no respect. Even though you had as many fights as you had. Forrest, so many guys had so many fights, they don’t remember how hard it was for us to prove ourselves in the UFC.
“We had to keep winning because we were looked upon as guys who had some kind of easy shoo-in and we were the TV guys.”
Diaz and Sanchez did actually get to square off in the Octagon, back in 2005—with Sanchez winning a unanimous decision over Stockton’s own. Leading into the bout, Diaz shared a little of his animosity toward Sanchez with the broader public. Speaking to Thomas Gerbasi at the time, Diaz explained his dislike toward the former TUF champ in his own words.
“He was on the show, and basically, he’s got a huge background,” Diaz said of Sanchez, talking about the ‘Nightmare’’s record. “He’s got almost 20 wins and he’s beaten some good people at jiu-jitsu, but he’s fought at a heavier weight class – which means slower and dumber guys – or fought guys with no record that were easy to beat, or guys with a lot of tattoos and their hair dyed. He’s beaten a lot of those type of guys and it just built his record up. The thing is, I don’t think he’s fought anybody really that great in fighting. They put him on that show with all these other guys that sucked – they were terrible. (Josh) Koscheck was the best guy and that was just because he was the best wrestler.”
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