Leave it to a green sports broadcaster and a young Nate Diaz to create one of the most awkward FIGHT PASS Follies of all-time.
Many forget that before Nate Diaz was becoming a star in the UFC, he was burning a hole through the WEC. Making exciting work out of his first two opponents, Diaz was set to take on Joe Hurley in what was likely a title eliminator fight. A young commentator noticed the opportunity that was presenting itself and offered a bit of advice to the king of Stockton.
“I set him aside before the event and said, ‘Nate, you’re getting a lot of eyeballs. People are noticing you win and you might get that title shot, so during the post-fight just keep in mind maybe not to drop as many F bombs as you normally do,’” Ron Kruck recalls with a laugh. “I wasn’t saying he needs to clean it up. I just wanted him to be aware. He was like, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I get it.’”
Kruck-strodomus was correct. Diaz finished Hurley in the second round and a title shot was on the horizon. It was now time to see if Diaz would take Kruck’s advice or cut a 209-style promo.
It didn’t take but two sentences for Nate Diaz to drop an F-bomb and it wouldn’t be the last one. Kruck’s face dropped more and more until Diaz finished him off with the following… “He said go beat that m**********r’s ass. Don’t be a bitch”
“I just hear in my earpiece everybody in the broadcast laughing their asses off because they knew, and I look at the camera like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Kruck said. “But what can you do? You just let the guy go. It was awesome. It was classic TV but there was a little bit of discomfort, for sure.”
Kruck admits to being as frazzled as he appeared but inside of the discomfort there was never any animosity towards Diaz for going the extra mile…in the opposite direction. It was inappropriate, but it was still a conversation.
“I get more upset at guys who don’t want to engage,” Kruck explained. “Nate was speaking from the heart. That just came out. I asked him a question, Nate thinks he’s a tough MFer, well that’s what’s coming out. It’s up to me to pull it back or reign them in. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.”
It may not have worked that night, but Kruck got plenty of practice in his days of WEC cage reporting. The former team sport expert turned MMA mainstay never had a night without at least a handful of fighters thanking a laundry list of sponsors, pulling the microphone away or not knowing their way around a live interview. Even with all the awkward moments to look back at, he wouldn’t have changed a thing.
“I look at this experience as a really key turning point in my broadcast career,” Kruck said. “If you would have asked me 20 years ago if I thought I would be making a good living as a mixed martial arts broadcast journalist or commentator, I would have thought you were crazy, but it was those days before it exploded that absolutely got me to where I am today.”
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