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Nate Diaz: “F*ck the belt, I’m trying to beat the #1 guy in the world…”

Now that the lightweight title-fight between UFC champion Benson Henderson and top contender Nate Diaz has been officially announced as the headliner for the organization’s return to FOX in December the two talented 155ers have started offering up assessments of the match-up with each showing a good deal of respect for the others’ abilities. In fact, not only does Diaz appreciate the challenge Henderson presents as an adversary, but he feels coming out on top against an individual with the title-holder’s skill-set is more of a motivating factor than the thought of strapping UFC gold around his waist.

“F*ck the belt, I’m trying to beat the #1 guy in the world and that’s him right now,” said Diaz in an interview with Inside MMA, adding, “I train with guys just like (him) – athletic guys, strong guys. He’s definitely gonna be a good, hard fight.”

Henderson also gave his thoughts on Diaz, pointing to the Stockton scrapper’s demeanor in the ring being as much of a threat as his stand-up and submission prowess.

“First and foremost I gotta keep my emotional state in check. Skill-wise, he brings very crisp boxing and knockout power in his submission game,” explained Henderson. “You make a mistake, he’s gonna catch your neck and you’re gonna go to sleep or you gotta tap.”

UFC on FOX 5 is scheduled for December 8. Henderson will enter the bout with wins in all five of his appearances inside the Octagon, while Diaz has had his hand raised in a trio of consecutive tilts.

Watch below to see all of the comments from Henderson/Diaz: