Just How Good Is Nate Diaz's Jiu-Jitsu? A Closer Look At His Ground Game

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Everybody knows that Nate Diaz is a bad man. The UFC fighter is a black belt in jiu-jitsu (and a black belt in kicking ass) with an incredible 13 submission wins to his name. 

As fight fans gets excited for his rematch with Conor McGregor, scheduled for UFC 202 on August 20, we take a look at Nate's jiu-jitsu prowess -- with a twist. 

It's no secret Nate has one of the best ground games in the UFC. He's currently all-time #2 most submissions in the organization, ranked only behind legendary old-schooler Royce Gracie. Diaz's jiu-jitsu was the key to his victory in his first match with McGregor, and many people believe it will see him succeed once again. 

But what's his jiu-jitsu in the gi like? 

There's not a lot of current evidence out there on which to base an analysis. Here's a fun, flowy roll recorded after a seminar in Hawaii just last year. This is probably Nate at his least aggressive, as he playfully allows his partner to work positions on him that he would never get into in a fight. 


This match, recorded in 2012, shows him rolling with top featherweight Osvaldo 'Queixinho' Moizinho. Nate loses by toehold in just over a minute, which is no cause for embarrassment considering Queixinho is one of the top grapplers from his division. 


And going back a bit further, here's a 2011 match of him as a brown belt, where he won by kneebar. 


The obvious takeaway is that jiu-jitsu in the cage is a lot different to that of a tournament, and Nate's is definitely a lot more functional for MMA than it is for a pure grappling championship. 

However, he displays the fundamental attributes -- correct posture, body control, spacial awareness and timing -- that mark him out as true black belt.

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A New Lightweight Champion Will Be Crowned at 2019 IBJJF Pans

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The brackets are out for the 2019 IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship and as always the first thing we do is pour over them to identify the most promising first round matches scheduled to go down in the black belt divisions. 

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