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When Nate Diaz won The Ultimate Fighter: Recap of TUF 5

10 months ago By Sports Desk

Nate Diaz is undeniably one of the biggest superstars in the sport of MMA, and his time in the UFC made him an absolute fan-favorite fighter. The Stockton slugger began his journey in the promotion as a contestant on the fifth installment of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show, which he ended up winning. This article delves into Diaz’s journey as a TUF contestant, his season-winning finale fight, and its aftermath. 

Nate Diaz in TUF 5

Nate Diaz was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 5, which exclusively featured lightweights. The fighters were split into two opposing teams coached by UFC veterans, Jens Pulver and B.J. Penn. The Stockton native was a part of Pulver’s team of lightweights and submitted all four of his opponents in the tournament bracket phase of the series. 

In the elimination rounds, Nate Diaz beat Rob Emerson via second-round submission before going on to face Corey Hill. Diaz brushed Hill aside with a brutally quick first-round submission. With his incredible grappling skills and outspoken personality, Nate Diaz won fights and won over fans. 

In the semi-finals, Nate Diaz was up against Gray Maynard. The Stockton legend once again relied upon his grappling abilities to beat Maynard. The fight ended with Diaz securing a spot in the season finale via second-round submission.

Nate Diaz’s Season Finale Victory

In the season finale of TUF 5, Nate Diaz faced fellow teammate Manny Gamburyan in a bout in Paradise, Nevada. The fight was slightly anti-climatic, considering the torrid battles that fans usually expect from the final bouts of the series. 

Gamburyan started strong in the TUF 5 championship fight and won the first round with relentless ground-and-pound attacks. He successfully nullified Diaz’s size and striking advantages and looked well set to win the fight. 

In the second round, Manny Gamburyan shot for an unlucky takedown and ended up dislocating his right shoulder during the landing. He tapped out due to the excruciating injury just 20 seconds into the second round, with Diaz taking home the six-figure UFC contract and the TUF lightweight championship. 

Aftermath and Legacy

During his career spanning over 15 years, Nate Diaz cemented his legacy as an icon in the UFC. Diaz’s unforgettable journey in TUF 5 and the subsequent championship victory kickstarted his rise in the UFC. The Stockton native later grew into one of the biggest stars in MMA. 

Conclusion

Nate Diaz was a contestant in the fifth installment of The Ultimate Fighter, and the Stockton slugger won the lightweight competition at the end of the series. His unfiltered and raw personality was on full display in the show, making him an instant fan favorite. He went on to become one of the UFC’s biggest superstars ever. 

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