Nick Diaz is a mixed martial artist who’s competed in UFC, Strikeforce, DREAM, EliteXC, PRIDE, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), and Shooto. He’s a 37-year old who began wrestling when he was a teenager and didn’t stop until 2015. He’s a long term vegan and a vocal advocate for cannabis legalization. He’s also one very wealthy individual. Just how wealthy might take you by surprise. If you’ve ever wondered about the kind of money martial artists make, find out now as we take a deep dive into Nick Diaz’s net worth.
How Much is Nick Diaz Worth?
Diaz has been competing professionally since the age of 18. Considering he’s now 37 and has a reputation as one of the fiercest martial artists around, you wouldn’t expect him to be struggling to make rent each month. And he’s certainly not doing that. If Celebrity Net Worth has been looking at the right figures, the Californian native is currently sat on the very healthy net worth of $3 million. Sure, there are better-paid sports professionals around, but in the world of martial arts, that’s quite the sum. So, how exactly did he make it?
Back to the Start
Diaz was born in 1983 in Stockton, California. As a kid, he developed an interest in karate and aikido. When he hit his teens, he began participating in wrestling tournaments. At school, he competed on the swim team. He fared less well in the classroom and ended up dropping out of school before graduating. But by then, a professional career in sports was already beckoning. At the age of 16, Diaz began training in Sambo under the Ukrainian National Sambo Champion, Valeri Ignatov. He also started exploring martial arts further, first under Steve Heath and later under Cesar Gracie. At the age of 17, Diaz was struck by tragedy when his girlfriend committed suicide. Speaking via grapplinginsider.com, he’s recalled how her death prompted him to set his sights on MMA dominance. “I would run seven miles and back to her grave just to promise her I would make it as a fighter like she knew and had told me she knew and was proud of me,” he says.
The Rise to Fame
Diaz made his professional debut as a mixed martial arts fighter shortly after his 18th birthday. The debut was a success: after putting Mike Wick under a triangle choke at IFC Warriors Challenge 15, he won the fight. When he defeated Chris Lytie at his second fight at IFC Warriors Challenge 17, he was declared a champion. Over the next couple of years, he rose rapidly within the ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Known for his jiu-jitsu fighting style and his trademark closed guard grappling maneuver, he won Fight of the Night against B.J. Penn and Submission of the Night against Josh Neer. And his accomplishments don’t stop there.
Over the years, he’s also competed in PRIDE, Strikeforce, EliteXC, World Extreme Cage fighting (WEC), DREAM, and Shooto, earning accolades that Wikipedia notes as including:
- Pan-American Championship
- Jiu-Jitsu 2005 Brown Belt (Middle): 1st Place
- Brown Belt (Open): 3rd Place
- US Brazilian Jujitsu Open
- 2004 Purple Belt Gold Medalist
- International Fighting Championship
- IFC U.S. Welterweight Championship
- One successful title defense
- IFC Americas Welterweight Championship
- World Extreme Cagefighting
- WEC Welterweight Championship
- Strikeforce Welterweight Championship
- Most successful welterweight title defenses in Strikeforce
- Most consecutive welterweight title defenses in Strikeforce 2010
- Fight of the Year Inside Fights 2007
- Fight of the Year vs. Takanori Gomi
- Ultimate Athlete
- UA 4 Welterweight Tournament Runner-Up
- International Sport Karate Association
- ISKA MMA Americas Welterweight Championship
- Sherdog Awards
- 2011 Round of the Year vs. Paul Daley
- 2011 All-Violence First Team
If there’s one thing in particular that led to Diaz’s rise to fame (not to mention fortune), it’s his distinctive fighting style. Diaz is a believer in the ‘more is more’ approach to boxing and is known for a delivery method that places more emphasis on repetition than it does power. According to bloodyelbow.com, Diaz’s ‘pitter shatter’ approach to boxing resembles some of the techniques used in old London Prizefighting (“bare-knuckle”) matches. According to CompuStrike, which tabulates statistics from MMA fights, Diaz attempted 181 strikes in one particular round, making it the most strikes thrown in any round ever recorded. Other than his ‘volume, volume, volume’ approach to fighting, Diaz is also known for his tactic of talking trash to his opponents, something that’s occasionally got him in more trouble than he was anticipating. He’s also known to train for triathlons as a way of increasing his endurance, something that allows him to heap extra pressure on his opponents. “Fighters are afraid of conditioning, but I don’t want to have anxiety or be afraid of anything,” he’s explained to huffpost.com. “I can go 100% and never have to worry about getting tired. Everybody says fighting is 90% mental, and it’s true. Knowing you can go 25 minutes can help you sustain that mental advantage over your opponent.”
Diaz hasn’t fought professionally since January 2015. Even more significantly, he hasn’t won since his decision victory over BJ Penn in January 2011. But all that might be about to change. In 2020, Diaz announced his planned UFC comeback in 2021. So far, his opponent hasn’t been named, but Darren Till, Leon Edwards, Stephen Thompson, and Khamzat Chimaev are all in the running. As is former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who recently spoke to sportbible.com about why he believes that, comeback or no comeback, Diaz deserves a place in the UFC Hall of Fame. “I think he’s done enough in his career to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” he’s said. “I think (he deserves it) because he was one of the original bad boys. He came over from Strikeforce, he had a crazy reputation then, and I think you’ve got to take some of that into account when you’re thinking about a Hall of Fame inductee.”
Diaz has been competing professionally since the age of 18. Granted, he might have been enjoying a temporary leave of absence over the past few years, but during his time at the top, he was one of the biggest, baddest contenders around. And when payday rolls around, all those victories add up to a very tidy sum. Combine that with the money he pulls by making nightclub appearances (he might not have been doing much fighting recently, but there’s plenty of event organizers willing to pay big time for a few minutes of his time) and it’s not hard to see how he’s reached that $3 million net worth.