Nate Diaz put on quite possibly the best performance of his career last night (Dec. 30, 2011) at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, defeating Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision after three rounds thanks to relentless, laser-like striking.
How precise? Accurate enough to set a CompuStrike record for a three round mixed martial arts (MMA) fight.
Diaz landed an astounding 82 percent of his strikes, connecting on 258 out of 314 punches. After plenty of pre-fight trash talk from both competitors, the fight, unsurprisingly, never hit the ground for the entire 15 minutes. On the contrary, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under Cesar Gracie — who displayed improved boxing in his submission victory over Takanori Gomi at UFC 135 — took his striking to a whole new level in his dominant UFC 141 win over "Cowboy."
He can likely thank striking coach Richard Perez, who is responsible for sharpening Nate's, along with the rest of the Cesar Gracie fight team's boxing skills, which also includes Nick Diaz, Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields. Often criticized for not possessing knockout power, the Diaz brothers have proved once again that their "peppering" style of striking is more than enough to get the job done.
By contrast, Cerrone — who is one of the better strikers in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight division and who possesses a kickboxing record of 28-0-1 — only landed 33 percent of his strikes as he landed only 66 out of 200 attempted strikes.
That's how they roll in the 209, son. Recognize.