Chael Sonnen recently had UFC Lightweight Nate Diaz as a guest on the most recent episode of his new podcast “You’re Welcome!”
Sonnen and Diaz spoke about Nate’s return to action after a year long layoff, where he will meet Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on FOX 13, his contract disputes with the UFC that caused the layoff and Nate’s brother, Nick Diaz’s upcoming fight with former UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Many people, including former UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre feel that Nick may be in for a rough night when he faces Silva, due to the fact that he is giving up size in the fight by making the move up to Middleweight, but Nate doesn’t seem to feel that way.
Here’s what Nate had to say:
“Nick’s a good size, Anderson Silva fought Ryo Chonan, Jeremy Horn. All those guys weren’t the biggest guys. Nick’s a good size for 185. He’s not huge, but it should be a good fight. That’s a fighters’ fight. If anybody’s a fan of mixed martial arts, that would be the fight you want to watch, if not I don’t even know why you watch the sport.
Of course [Silva’s] probably going to hit hard and be bigger a little bit, but he’s not the ‘hold you down and use his weight’ type of guy. He’s more of a martial arts type of fighter. In the technical aspect the weight could have a slight advantage but I don’t think it’s going to be too much. I mean, it could be a slight advantage if you get hit and s**t, but I don’t think the weight thing is going to be some big, crazy ordeal.
Look at that Ryo Chonan [Silva] fought,” said Diaz. “That was a just little person. I met Ryo Chonan. I’m like, ‘You’re just a little …’ I think when he met and saw me [and said], ‘You fight at 155?’ I think he dropped a weight class right after he saw me. This little motherf***er’s fighting at 185 so I’ve seen [Silva] have some harder fights with smaller guys.
Jeremy Horn is a good fighter, but he’s not the biggest guy, either. I trained with Jeremy Horn back in the day and I’ve seen Anderson Silva have a pretty rough fight with him.”
On the other side of things, Sonnen seemed to not only agree with Diaz, but even went as far as saying that Silva “is not as good as they say he is.”
“Your brother’s been in there with Georges St-Pierre. I fought Anderson Silva before and I’ve worked out with Georges St-Pierre and I had a much harder time with St-Pierre. That was my experience. Styles and a lot of things come into it, but St-Pierre was far superior of an athlete and of a fighter. I think your brother has been in harder fights. I guess that’s my point and I think that’s going to help him.
I don’t think [Nick Diaz] knows that, I don’t think he’s going to realize that until a few minutes out there. Anderson Silva is very good, this is not meant to be a knock on Anderson Silva. He is not as good as they say he is. That’s also a true statement. When guys go out there and fight him they will come away with that opinion.
Everybody calls me before they fight Anderson Silva, I tell them, ‘The guy’s a good fighter’ all that nice stuff, ‘He’s not near as good as they say he is.’ He’s not near as good as they will tell you that he is. If you go out there and waste half of the fight before you realize that, like what Demian Maia did, you’re not going to be able to beat him in a decision.”
Sonnen would further elaborate, saying he also doesn’t believe that Silva is deserving of the “greatest fighter of all-time” moniker.
“I don’t mean to bash Anderson Silva. I think the guy’s fantastic. I think he’s absolutely fantastic. All I’m saying is he’s not as good as they say he is. If you’re going to call a guy ‘The greatest of all time’ you need to be real careful with that dialogue.”
Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz will meet in the main event of UFC 183 on January 31st at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. [source]