‘Diaz is the Villains of All Villains’- The Korean Zombie Lauds UFC Stars Nate Diaz and Colby Covington

Published 07/27/2021, 12:15 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 05: Nate Diaz reacts to his victory over Conor McGregor of Ireland in their welterweight bout during the UFC 196 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the biggest MMA production in the world. It houses many magnificent fighters who have either a good baby-face personality or a heel personality. Featherweight elite Chan Sung Jung appears in the former category and someone like Nate Diaz falls into the latter category.

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‘The Korean Zombie’ has had a storied career where he has been a fan favorite. He has also seen and experienced how the industry works and what are the ingredients to run a successful promotion. He also jointly owns the record for the most performance bonuses in the featherweight division.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 18: (R-L) ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung battles Brian Ortega in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on October 18, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Just like in a movie, where the hero has a villain to thrive upon, a negative character is very much essential in a fight to get attention and make it interesting.

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Speaking about the same on his YouTube channel, Jung detailed the importance of having anti-heroes in MMA to generate public interest. He also named fighters like Nate Diaz and Colby Covington to support his claims.

NEWARK, NJ – AUGUST 03: Colby Covington is introduced prior to his welterweight bout against Robbie Lawler during the UFC Fight Night event at the Prudential Center on August 3, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“(Nate Diaz) is the villains of all villains,” he said. “Actually, I take that back. Nate Diaz is not a villain. He’s just someone crazy.”

Jung then described how Covington had to change his persona to stay relevant and save his job. The current welterweight title challenger made an infamous switch to heel persona in 2017. He not only thrived after this change but also gained immensely in his in-ring performance.

“Villains have the most popularity,” he added. “MMA wouldn’t be MMA without the presence of the villains. A hero fighting hero? Now, that’s no fun.”

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He added, “There is Colby Covington, for example. Colby Covington was once a sweet fighter, but after almost being kicked out of the UFC for having less than average fights, he changed and found a new character to be.”

Is it beneficial to have villains like Nate Diaz and Covington?

Of course. It doesn’t matter what kind of persona they hold in front of fight fans, revenue generated from their characters is what matters at the end of the day.

Whether we put Diaz into the villain category, he still sells the PPVs. In fact, if we look at the highest selling PPVs, he has a name in the top 5 (the ones with McGregor). And on top of that, he is a crowd puller.

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Just like Diaz, McGregor too is a polarizing figure in the UFC. He generates the highest income for UFC whenever he puts his foot inside the octagon. His matchup with the former lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov generated the highest PPV buy rate for the promotion. He acted like a perfect anti-hero to that of Khabib.

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The numbers don’t lie. It’s pretty much essential to have villains to counter the heroes, and this provides a treat to the fans and the promotion overall.

Do you agree with Jung’s statement?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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