NEWARK, N.J. -- Nate Diaz carried some extra weight into the cage but he brought the same hurt the Diaz brothers always bring. Nate and his brother Nick usually peck their opponents to a slow death. Saturday night it wasn't slow for Rory Markham. The much bigger fighter, after missing the welterweight limit by seven pounds at 177, Markham got destroyed by Diaz's volume of punches. Diaz got it to the ground quickly and submitted Markham forced a stoppage via strikes at 2:47 of the first for his first UFC welterweight victory.
Diaz, a veteran of nine UFC fights at 155, was the smaller fighter. He said he was walking around at roughly 175. Meanwhile, Markham was 177 on the scales on Friday and probably at least 185 this evening. The extra bulk just slowed him down. Diaz peppered him with dozens of punches essentially thwarting Markham's offense and overwhelming him with his own offense. Diaz got off 15 unanswered punches that left Markham dazed and on his heels backing up. That's when a Diaz knee floored him. Once on the mat, Diaz, a great jiu-jitsu practitioner, immediately moved to take Markham's back. Markham tried to scramble and get to his knees several times but while avoiding the choke for 45 seconds, he took a beating as Diaz punched him. When Diaz (13-5, 7-3 UFC) finally slapped on the choke, Markham was quick to bail. He left the cage with a nasty mouse under his left eye.
Diaz is a unique character. How many UFC fighters suffer a loss at a lower weight and then decide to move up? Only the Diaz brothers. But it's that fighting spirit that may make the undersized Nate a force in the division.