On Saturday March 5, plant-based fighter Nate Diaz defeated featherweight champion Conor McGregor by rear naked choke in the second round. Although the fight wasn’t for the belt, it was the biggest win in Diaz’s career.
Unspoken by many in the media, Diaz is notable because he eats a plant-based diet. At times, Diaz
describes himself as a raw vegan, and at other times he claims that he eats no land animals or dairy products. Also underrepresented in the media, there are many vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based fighters in the UFC. In addition to Nate, his brother Nick, their training teammate Jake Shields,Ricardo Moreira, Jon Fitch, retired fighter Mac Danzig, and even hall-of-famer Randy Couture. Some of these fighters have fought for championships, and some have won belts. Most of these fighters did not choose to eat a plant-based diet because of ethical reasons, but because they recognize the health benefits of eliminating animal products from their diets.
To add another layer of vegan interest, Conor McGregor’s movement coach is Ido Portal, who is notorious for saying that he will not train with vegans. According to Portal, vegans lack the strength and energy that he expects in his training partners.