Nate Diaz is rematching with Conor McGregor at the upcoming UFC 202. We know this, and we know it’s because their first fight was incredible and made tons of money for all parties involved.

But it’s not hard to remember a time when Diaz didn’t have the spotlight shining upon him, a time when he was sometimes floundering in the cage. Thus was the mindset when he stepped up to face a resurgent Michael Johnson at a UFC on FOX last December. Few pegged Diaz to win that one… but he did. And perhaps more importantly, when Joe Rogan stuck a mic in his face afterward, Diaz unleashed such a profanity-laced tirade that FOX practically cut to an episode of the Simpsons just to cover it up.

That, more than any fisticuff, put Diaz in the running as a worthwhile late-replacement when the time came.

So yeah, Diaz has earned all the rich rewards he’s now reaping.

Here’s his fight with Johnson: