He stays "competitive" because people score him points for aggression. He is a better version of Clay Guida. He can swing and miss 10 punches in a row but his fans and some incompetent judges will give him some points for that.
I think Nate would school him bad. His BJJ is much better, but Sanchez is hard to sub. But if Diego sat in guard and went ape shit I have no doubts Nate would sub him.
On the feet it isn't close.
Diego may be able to steal a round from being on top. But he isn't on Nate's level.
Exactly on the competitive remark. His aggression and iron will make him seem better than he is standing. It may make for a flawed system at times, but it's still effective in terms of MMA judging. If "superior" strikers feel robbed, maybe they should step it up a notch and not let things like this happen. Though I suppose it's not their fault that they may not have the chin or recovery rate that Diego Sanchez has which always him to go at such a crazy pace without worrying much about getting stopped.
I think you're selling Diego's ground game short. He has great BJJ, maybe not as good as Diaz's, but it's definitely very good. Jon Fitch barely squeezed passed him, and Guida who is solid on the ground, couldn't do anything except absorb punishment when having Diego on his back. Sanchez lost the Fitch fight by split decision, but Fitch was a big welterweight with excellent submission defense and who is great at grinding. That was a terrible match up for Diego and he still gave Fitch .. Fits. Diego also has some credible wins over many solid grapplers.
I don't see Sanchez going ape shit in Diaz's guard. Sanchez has nice ground and pound when he's able to use it, but I think he'd recognize the threat of Diaz's guard. Sanchez has overrated wrestling, but it's still decent and clearly better than the wrestling that Diaz has. They both have excellent conditioning and aren't afraid to get into some scrambles. In fact, they're both very good at them. The pace of the ground work would be phenomenal in my opinion.
I don't see Diaz "schooling" Sanchez as you put it. Standing maybe because Nate has come a long way with his boxing. It's better than Nick's in my opinion. He would have a big advantage standing against Sanchez, but I'd be very surprised if he stopped Sanchez with punches. Some of the heaviest hitters in the welterweight division couldn't even stop Sanchez with punches. I'd say if Diaz hurt Sanchez, he'd probably go for a submission, but Sanchez is incredibly hard to finish and I think he could manage to avoid them. You can use the Miller example of Diaz finishing someone who is hard to finish, but I still would see it unlikely. It's possible, but I'd be surprised. Then again, I was surprised (and extremely happy) when Diaz managed to submit Miller.
Diaz would easily out strike Sanchez, but I think Sanchez could take him down. (Although Diaz has been improving his take down defense) On the ground, I honestly don't see Sanchez being out classed by Nate. He could possibly be at a disadvantage, but thinking he'd get schooled is a bold prediction. Has Sanchez ever been straight up schooled on the ground in professional MMA without first getting rocked badly standing? He's always competitive there and since he has better wrestling, is probably stronger, and has just as strong of a pace, it would be no walk in the park for either fighter.
Whether you agree or disagree with me, can you honestly say you wouldn't be excited to see that fight? I'm a huge fan of both guys. I even want Diaz to win that lightweight gold. I wouldn't be disappointed if either fighter got beat by the other if they fought. Well, I'd be disappointed if one of them had to lose, but it would be bitter sweet.