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UFC lightweight Diaz quickly dismisses Maynard while school pals party


Somewhere in Lodi, Calif., in the conference room at a Marriott, or wherever they hold high school reunions these days, the majority of the Tokay High School class of 2003 was dancing the night away to the throwback sounds of 50 Cent and Chingy on Saturday night.

Perhaps at some point during the evening somebody made time to flip on a television to check in on the class’ most famous alumni.

Nate Diaz was busy beating Gray Maynard in the main event of an Ultimate Fighting Championship card at Mandalay Bay and was, therefore, unable to attend his class reunion.

He had jokingly mentioned several times leading up to the fight that he hadn’t decided if he was going to show up for the bout or attend his reunion.

Diaz probably made the right choice, as he snapped a two-fight losing streak with an impressive first-round knockout of the former lightweight title challenger.

After the win, he said there was only one reason he chose to fight instead of catching up with old friends.

“It would have been cool to go there,” Diaz said, “but I was broke so I had to show up (to fight).”

The win probably didn’t immediately place Diaz back in the title picture, but he presented his plan for how to ensure he gets another championship fight after losing to then-champion Benson Henderson last December.

“I think I’ll sit on the sideline for a good long minute until someone gets injured and I get a title fight,” Diaz said.

The comment was intended as an obvious shot Anthony Pettis, who won the belt from Henderson in August. Pettis fought just once between February 2012 and August, when he replaced an injured T.J. Grant and took advantage of the opportunity with the win over Henderson.

Diaz said his willingness to fight is the main reason his professional record is a relatively unimpressive 17-9.

“I do have a lot of losses on my record, and other people have a lot criticism and (expletive) to talk about me losing fights. But if you take a look at my record compared to other people’s record, for every two fights, I’ve fought six, seven times,” he said. “So if they’re fighting the same amount, and more consistent like I am, they’re going to have more losses than me. So maybe I’ll sit around for a while and wait for an injury to pop up.”

A willingness to fight anyone at anytime is what makes Diaz so unique, though, so expect him back in action sooner rather than later.

As long as he doesn’t have another high school reunion scheduled.

■ DEL ROSARIO UPDATE — UFC heavyweight Shane del Rosario, 30, remains in critical condition at a Southern California hospital after going into full cardiac arrest in his home early last week.

His manager, Jason House, revealed in a statement Friday what may have caused del Rosario’s heart attack.

“Doctors believe he may suffer from a rare condition called Long QT Syndrome which is a genetic anomaly that can cause a sudden and life threatening heart rhythm abnormality, and may result in sudden death. Tragically, it strikes healthy young people and often is the first and only presentation of a heart problem.”

■ UFC HEADS DOWN UNDER — A heavyweight battle between Mark Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva headlines a UFC card in Brisbane, Australia on Saturday.

The event also includes light heavyweight bouts between James Te Huna and former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua as well as Anthony Perosh against Reno native Ryan Bader.

The event will air live at 6 p.m. on Friday evening in Las Vegas on Fox Sports 1 (Cable 329).

■ TUFF-N-UFF — Marina Shafir, a close friend and training partner of UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, earned the Tuff-N-Uff amateur featherweight title with a first-round submission of Tabby Patterson on a card at The Orleans on Friday night.

Shafir, 25, improved to 4-0 as an amateur. She needed only 59 seconds to choke out Patterson with a standing arm triangle.

There also was a gruesome injury at the event. Mike Florio suffered an open dislocation just above his left ankle as he was taken down by Jim Elmer during the second round of a light heavyweight bout. The bone was sticking out of Florio’s skin and the event was delayed as he received medical attention.

According to Tuff-N-Uff officials, Florio had surgery to repair the injury on Saturday morning.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

 

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