Sherdog’s Top 10: Nate Diaz’s Signature Moments

No. 10

By Mike Sloan Aug 20, 2016

10. Breakout Win

Long before he became a star in the UFC, Nate Diaz enjoyed success in World Extreme Cagefighting. He faced and defeated Joe Hurley at WEC 21 on June 15, 2006, the submission victory propelling him into a battle with Hermes Franca for the WEC lightweight championship four months later.

Diaz and Hurley ripped into one another from the start, creating terrific action. Diaz, then 21 and with just four pro fights under his belt, was something of a crude mixed martial artist at the time. He sought out a brawl with Hurley, hoping to maul him on the ground and on the feet. Diaz whiffed on a guillotine attempt in the second round and wound up on his back, but soon after, he wrapped Hurley in a triangle choke and forced the tapout.

It served as a breakout performance for Diaz, who had begun to emerge from the shadow of his older brother. Ironically, Nick Diaz had gone through Hurley three years earlier under similar circumstances.

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