“First, untie me. Untie me for now. You said you would, right? And you were right”
Recognise those lyrics? If so, you are one of two things: a Deftones fan, or an MMA fan. Actually there’s three things, as you could be both. And I guess you don’t really have to be a fan of Deftones or MMA but you may have heard those lyrics from down another avenue. Whatever the case, those words are from the song Feiticeira from Deftones’ 2000 album White Pony.
Hold on, wait… Why are you here if you aren’t an MMA fan? Ignore most of that last paragraph; well, the first bit. Anyway, in case your are unaware, Feiticeira has long accompanied one of the MMA worlds most enduring characters, as he makes his way to the cage on fight night: one Nick Diaz, of Stockton California (209 what!?)
I remember the first time I heard it. This was an MMA event and I wasn’t listening to Tupac, Biggie or awful heavy ‘Face The Pain level’ metal – or techno for the Brazilians. (Seriously, name one Brazilian who has walked out to good music. Don’t try, you can’t). (If you say Wanderlei I will find you and make you watch Demian Maia’s last few fights.)
Nicholas Diaz is a living enigma, a conundrum, a puzzle that may never be solved, a demon’s whisper in a cramped wet cave. I do not claim to know what goes on inside the man’s head, but I have watched enough of his trash talk compilations to convince myself I have a read one the man’s very soul. Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to hypothesis that Stockton’s own, is simply put; a genius.
Okay, so not a genius in the traditional sense. Like a Jackson Pollock or a Stanley Kubrick, I can just say it out loud and spew these words onto this webpage, and you can’t really argue with me. Basically, what I’m saying is, the song is a brilliant meta commentary on Nick Diaz’ relationship with fighting. Hear me out… Or read me out.
Nick Diaz does not like fighting. He has iterated this on multiple occasions. In a 2016 interview on the Opie show Nick said of fighting, “you’re going to pay me, I’m not going to enjoy it.” He continued, “This is a curse,” “I’m either going to go out there and get kicked around now, or maybe I’m going to be kicking myself later, you know, “I could have been a contender”. And yes he actually did quote On the Waterfront (1954).
Talking about his younger days and his introduction to martial arts, he said, “I was fanatical about it then. Once I turned pro it was over, I was like “okay, this sucks”. He also made a lot of mumbling noises that I think were words that could further illustrate my point, but we’ll work with what we’ve got. The point is, Nick Diaz cared about martial arts, it was an escape from a chaotic youth. Then when he finally made it in his career – a way out of his pained youth- life became immensely stressful.
The song tells the story of a man being kidnapped by a woman, bound and held captive for a substantial amount of time. She lies to him, telling him she will release him over and over again. The man is emotionally confused, and it is unclear whether he finds pleasure in his predicament. Huh!? Get it? No?
Fine. The man is Nick Diaz. He is bound by fighting, and is unsure whether he loves her or not. She promises to release him, but it is unclear if her promises are lies, and he doesn’t know if he want’s her to be telling the truth. Why can’t Nick just retire if he hates fighting so much? Because he loves it. Why doesn’t he just fight? Because he hates it.
So I might be indulging myself. I wouldn’t hold that assumption against you, but there’s more. This is where things get a bit freaky. So, the name “Feiticeira” supposedly comes from a Brazilian TV show. (Yes, that’s right, I said Brazilian). The character known as “Feiticeira” was played by Brazilian model turned business woman ‘Joana Prado’. Who is ‘Joana Prado’ you wonder? A more pertinent question might be, who is her husband?. Her husband is none other than… Vitor Belfort.
*** Tree branch hits window. Thunder. Lighting, X-Files theme kicks in.***
Yeah, that’s right, not so crazy now am I? Prado played the sex symbol for several years, eventually abandoning it to live a more conservative lifestyle. She currently manages Belfort in his fighting career.
“What if he just likes Deftones?” you may be crying at your phone screen on a crowded bus, confusing the old man sat across from you. Okay, fair enough. I’ll leave you with this however: Feiticeira is Portuguese for “Sorceress”. What was Nick Diaz’ first martial art, the martial art that entranced him and tempted into the life of a fighter? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Coincidence? I think not.
***Bangs gavel. Bangs? Hits? Taps? Whatever.***