Nate Diaz has always been a cantankerous character throughout his fighting career, but before his boxing debut against Jake Paul on Saturday, the MMA icon is singing a more calm and subdued tune.

Diaz has been uncooperative and unpredictable at times around his promotional obligations for the fight, but despite his decisions, he’s still dishing out a dearth of respect toward the YouTuber turned knockout artist Paul (6-1, 4 KOs). 

“Of course [I have to respect Paul in the ring]. He's bigger. He's got more fights than me. He's knocked out ex-champions. He's hungry. He's motivated. He's a pissed off, rich, spoiled child. He's f------ a angry little f----- and deserves his ass whipped. He's a little sh!thead. But he's dangerous. It would be stupid to not take any fight seriously. Even more so not to take him lightly because he has less to lose,” Diaz said in an interview with and other reporters. 

“He does it all well. He's training well. He's motivated. He's doing everything he needs to do. He's bringing in real boxers and coaches and knocking people out. He's a big problem and has a lot of good sh!t to worry about. That comes with the fight game.” 

The battle-tested Diaz (22-13 MMA, 13 Submission, 5 KOs, 4 Decisions) will turn 39 years old in April and he wants to make sure he still cashes in on his cache and fervent fan base even after fighting Paul.

“I'm nowhere near retirement or slowing down anytime soon,” said Diaz. 

“I take every fight seriously. I don't think I'm going to be f------ around when it comes to fighting anybody.

“A lot more people in this world think that Jake Paul would whip my ass than they think [UFC fighters] would whip my ass. I'm going to have to show the difference.” 

The Paul-Diaz fight will stream stateside on DAZN, ESPN+ and and can be purchased for $59.99. The show is also available internationally via FITE. The event will take place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at], or via