UFC veteran Nate Diaz recently shed light on the legendary incident where he provocatively flipped off Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Diaz shared that his action was a response to Cerrone’s own gesture before the match had even commenced.
The showdown between Nate Diaz and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone during UFC 141 in 2011 remains etched in MMA history. Serving as the co-main event, this clash was marked by intense build-up and heated altercations between the two.
The tension escalated during the ceremonial face-off, where Diaz slapped Cerrone’s hat and shoved him, nearly sparking a brawl. Remarkably, Cerrone maintained his composure, showcasing his laid-back disposition.
When the moment of truth arrived on December 30, Diaz surprised fans with his relentless performance, showcasing his dominance over Cerrone across three grueling rounds. Yet, one moment stood out. As the third round beckoned, Diaz raised his middle finger in an iconic gesture aimed at Cerrone.
While this action drew controversy, it also became a defining image of Diaz’s career. In a recent interview, Diaz offered insights into this gesture, attributing it to Cerrone’s “rude and unprofessional” conduct.
Recalling the pre-fight face-off, Diaz recounted how Cerrone declined to touch gloves and instead directed a profanity-laden middle finger towards him. This act of defiance was in stark contrast to Diaz’s persona throughout his MMA journey.
As Diaz recalled, “Cowboy came out and then we were balancing out the fight, and the ref was like, ‘If you are going to say something, say something now.’ And he [Cerrone] was just like, ‘F*ck you.’ And I was like, ‘That is rude and unprofessional.'”
Diaz continued, “We did the fight and then two rounds went by and I whooped his ss the whole time. And then the third round I got up and I just saw him like he was having the worst time of his life, and I was like, ‘Fck you.'”
Both Diaz and Cerrone stepped away from MMA competition in the previous year. While Diaz ventured into boxing with a debut against Jake Paul and is expected to return to the MMA scene, Cerrone’s future in the sport remains uncertain.
The story behind Diaz’s iconic middle finger moment highlights the passion and tension that often characterizes the world of professional combat sports, leaving an indelible mark on the sport’s history.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.