Diaz eager to settle score with Gamburyan by John Morgan [john-morgan] on Apr 12, 2008 at 9:00 am in - News - After posting his fourth straight submission victory in the UFC at UFC Fight Night 13, lightweight Nate Diaz (9-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has been mentioned as a possible opponent for many of the division's top contenders. Diaz, however, is only interested in one of them: former cast mate Manny Gamburyan (8-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC). Diaz discussed his explosive victory over Kurt Pellegrino (11-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC), as well as his desire to fight "The Ultimate Fighter 5" runner-up Gamburyan, while a guest on Wednesday's edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), a content partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "The UFC decides that for me," Diaz said regarding his next opponent. "Manny (Gamburyan) wants to fight me. But you know what? I want to fight him too just as much." Diaz and Gamburyan met once before, in a highly anticipated bout for the "The Ultimate Fighter 5" title. Bad blood developed over the course of the season between Diaz and Gamburyan, as well with Diaz and Gamburyan's cousin and training partner, Karo Parisyan. The feud looked as if it would be settled in the octagon at the show's June 2007 live finale, but Gamburyan suffered a dislocated shoulder, and the fight was halted just 20 seconds into the second round. Although the taping of the reality show was almost a year ago, time has not lessened the animosity Diaz holds for Gamburyan and Parisyan. "I don't like them," Diaz said bluntly. "I don't mean nothing bad to anyone else in the sport. Everybody's just trying to make their money and fight their fights and do their thing, just like I am. But those guys? F*** them. They're cocky, they talk s***, and they want to act tough. But when they're by themselves, they try to say 'What's up,' you know... I'm like, 'We're not friends, dude.'" Although Gamburyan clearly won the first round of their previous encounter before bowing out shortly into the second, Diaz said he was unimpressed with the effort of his opponent. "[Gamburyan] already did everything he was going to do in that first round," the 22-year-old Diaz said. "I felt better in the second round. I didn't feel like he was doing anything from the top anyway. Pellegrino was doing good from the top. He was trying to pass the guard do his thing. Manny was just trying to sit in the guard the whole time." Diaz also insisted his conditioning would have led to an eventual victory anyway, regardless of Gamburyan's injury. "The thing is with a lot of guys is they can go hard from go, you know, from the start, and they slow down as time goes by," Diaz explained. "I feel like I go hard from start, too, but I feel like I get better as time goes by. Some people slow down. They give everything at the beginning. So I feel like sometimes, not with all people, but with some people, that it's going to get better for me in the later rounds… I was just 'If he did anything good, the best thing he was going to do, he already did.'" With Diaz moving quickly up the ranks of the UFC's talent-rich lightweight division, there is no limit to new opponents for the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu fighter. But Diaz would be willing to try to settle unfinished business from the past before moving forward. "I don't give a s***," Diaz said. "If they want to do it, I'm ready for that." To hear the full interview, download Wednesday's edition of TAGG Radio, available for free in the TAGG Radio Network archives.