Nate Diaz remembers when he first decided to take up MMA. His brother, Nick Diaz, was well on his way to a professional fighting career, and wanted someone to come along with him.

Now, several years later, Nate is a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter and is set to take part in the co-main event of UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem tonight on pay-per-view against Donald Cerrone.

All of this, however, wasn’t what Diaz had planned for himself.

“As soon as I finished school, I’d be sitting around the house and I wasn’t doing much. Nick said, ‘What are you doing? Why don’t you come train with me?’ And he threw a pair of gi pants at me,” said Diaz, in a recent interview with UFC’s website. “Back then, fighting and training in jiu-jitsu wasn’t a trendy thing.”

One fighter in particular, though, kept Diaz coming back to the gym – Gilbert Melendez, the current Strikeforce lightweight champ.

“I remember having wars with him,” Diaz said. “That was a rush just going down there. I’d tell Nick I’m gonna hang out a bit, and he’d say, ‘Gilbert’s coming.’ All right, let’s go. (Laughs) It was really good because it was a competitive thing, and at the same time, they were our friends.”

Catch Diaz-Cerrone on PPV with the broadcast starting at 10:00 PM EST.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

MMATraining Take: A win over a red-hot Cerrone would vault Diaz up the ladder in the UFC, and even a strong showing would keep him among the list of contenders in a stacked division. This should be nothing short of a war between two athletes that go all-out every time they fight.