KELOWNA – The subject of acclaimed local producer Adam Scorgie’s next project is one of professional sports most fascinating, controversial and misunderstood figures.
Nate Diaz became world famous when he submitted heavy favourite and lightweight champion Connor McGregor with a rear naked choke at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016. However it is Nate’s older brother Nick who has had the more profound impact on the sport of mixed martial arts.
Adam Scorgie, who also produced The Culture High, Ice Guardians and other award-winning documentaries, hopes that his as-yet-untitled film will finally bring UFC’s favourite villain Nick Diaz his due.
Nick is — perhaps unfairly — known more for his unpolished press conference appearances than his prolific record. Sports reporters and UFC management have regularly called him out in the past for a seeming lack of professionalism and unwillingness to befriend opponents but Scorgie says it makes sense if you know where the Diaz brothers came from.
“He’s actually a really nice guy,” Scorgie says. “But he came from a rough area, Stockton, California. Gangs threatened him, he had to drop out of school. He got into fighting because that’s all he knew. He can’t be friends with the guys he fights. That’s not how he survived.”
In his more than 15 years in three different weight classes, Nick has fought some of the biggest names in professional fighting including Robbie Lawler, Diego Sanchez, Joe Riggs, Sean Sherk, Takanori Gomi, Frank Shamrock, BJ Penn, Carlos Condit, Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva, to name a few.
His last fight for the UFC was against former long-time middleweight champion Anderson Silva, which was ruled no contest after both athletes testing positive for banned substances. Silva was caught using two steroids, androstanol and drostanolone and Nick’s blood contained marijuana metabolites.
The fight was ruled no contest and both men were fined and suspended.
“He is very open about his cannabis use,” Scorgie says. “They wanted to give him a five year ban but a petition got 114,000 signatures opposing his suspension. They reverted it for one year. Even other fighters who don’t like him stepped up and signed because it wasn’t right."
“Pro sports needs to take cannabis off the list (of banned substances).”
Scorgie says Nick has already signed on to the project, which will be directed by Jesse James Miller from Vancouver, who also directed The Good Son, Chasing Evil and was editor on Facing Ali.
They expect to begin filming after production on Scorgie’s current project, Inmate #1: The Rise Of Danny Trejo, wraps in June.
He hopes to have it ready for audiences by next summer.
“I really just want people to see a different side of him,” he says. “He’s a big part of the UFC’s success but because he wasn’t the poster child market piece who spoke well he wasn’t given his due.”
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