‘Back Talk’ Q&A: Burgos on the Diaz Bros., Weidman, and Shane Burgos connection

nate diaz
Nov 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Nate Diaz (blue gloves) gets treatment during his fight against Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) during UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

Hello again fight fans and welcome back for this week’s edition of the ‘Back Talk’ Q&A. Bring it in nice and close, as I open up the digital dispatches from the forum mob from The Underground (and Facebook). In this installment of the series, I will answer inquiries on the bad boys known as the Diaz brothers, Chris Weidman’s future, and my unique connection to a certain Burgos employed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s featherweight division. Let’s get to the questions.

Crowbar asks: Do you think that Nick Diaz can beat any current top ten fighters?

Whenever Nick Diaz’s name is brought up, I immediately picture the man we all know. A brash friend of expletives, who’s as tough as vibranium, can box up talented strikers and has the jiu-jitsu talents to tear ligaments and put men to sleep. That guy was a pretty damn good fighter and could be trouble for most UFC welterweights in the top-10. However, I don’t think that man still exists. The sad reality of the situation is, I haven’t seen that version of Diaz since 2015. It’s crazy to type these words, but Nick Diaz will be 38-years-old in August. Diaz is a man that will still be a bad-ass well into his AARP years, but in terms of high-level athletics, the OG of Stockton bad boys is getting a little old.

A six-year hiatus could be seen as a positive in certain athletic situations. However, even with six years away from fighting Diaz still has a 35-fight resume that includes a bunch of wars and notable tread put on his career tires. Mixed martial arts continues to expand like the universe, and we discover new stars and fighting phenoms all the time. Essentially, the sport has moved beyond the era of when Diaz was an elite competitor. That’s why I feel there is no way the elder Diaz brother could merc a top-10 UFC welterweight in 2021.

Smilin_Like_Rashad asks: Does Nate have a chance in hell in 3 weeks?

Short answer, yes. But then again, every competitor in every fight has a chance. If there were a pound-for-pound toughest SOBs list Nate Diaz would be right at the top. Just like big brother Nick, Diaz can take whatever beating you can offer and then call you the B-word because it wasn’t good enough. In general, the 36-year-old is a talented fighter. He can box, submit most anyone, and has that classic unlimited gas tank. However, in 2021, Leon Edwards is just a better fighter. Plus, he has shown in the UFC he can win a points fight against high-level talent. Which is sort of the only way you can really beat a Diaz brother. Aside from threats of making them promote their own fights. Yes, Nate Diaz definitely has a chance at UFC 262, it’s just not a very good one.

Jose Maldonado on Facebook asks: What is the likelihood Weidman can come back from that injury?

The likelihood that former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman comes back from his horrific leg injury at UFC 261 is probably close to 100%. Not because he is some freak athlete, or has the healing factor of Wolverine. But because the man seems pretty stubborn, for better or worse, and will find a way back into MMA action, come hell or high water. The question is, should he?

I call Weidman stubborn because he doesn’t seem like a guy who listens to messages from his body or career. The last six years of his have been a bit of a horror show. Since 2015, he is 3-6 with every single loss being a knockout of some sort. Last week was a technical knockout due to injury, but the previous five came via the fists and knees of opponents. Those losses should have been reason to ponder wholesale changes in how he prepares for fights, but that never happened. His always difficult weight cuts to make 185-pounds, and plodding fight-style should have made him a light heavyweight longer than his one appearance in 2019. The arduous recovery ahead and the direction his career has been going should make him consider retirement, but I would imagine that’s not even an idea in his mind. Yes, he will come back, but I fear for what he will be in those future bouts.

Taco_Muncher asks: Are you related to UFC featherweight Shane Burgos?

This question is a common one throughout my run covering MMA, and even featherweight star Calvin Kattar asked after our first interview. Firstly, no, I am not related to talented 145-pound UFC fighter Shane Burgos. However, we actually do have some unexpected connections. I and Shane are both products of the Bronx, New York. We also both just so happened to grow up in New York City Public Housing (NYCHA), AKA the projects. Although, he had the good fortune of moving out of them before his teenage years. Oddly enough, both of our fathers were employed by NYCHA, and at one time worked for the same development in the Bronx. Of course, having the same last name yet not being related drew them together and they ended up being work pals.

shane burgos
Credit: Jason Burgos

I actually found this out after having already interviewed “Hurricane” a couple of times previously. Following the most recent chat, which was a fun four-way with teammates and fellow UFC fighters Julio Arce and Lyman Good, he mentioned our connections to his father Eddy, and boom, more unique dots were connected in our shared backgrounds. What’re the chances that two Burgos men end up working in the same place, become friends, go in different directions in life, but their sons somehow end up connecting in the world of MMA? Seems impossible, yet it happened. Shane’s brother Ryan is also a talented amateur MMA fighter on the rise. I have no doubt the, “are you related to Ryan Burgos” questions will come too.

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