UFC president Dana White is maintaining his stance that Nate Diaz isn’t as popular as he thinks he is.
If you’ve been following MMA news at all this week, you’re likely aware that Nate Diaz vented a lot of his frustrations in a wide-ranging and vitriolic interview on The MMA Hour. Most of his venom was directed at Conor McGregor, who he believes need a third fight more than himself; Tony Ferguson, who he summed up as a ‘p__sy’; and the UFC itself, who he believes played a part in McGregor winning a decision in their second fight.
UFC president Dana White has already commented on Nate’s assertions about the decision and them (Nate and his brother Nick Diaz) not being offered fights. But in an interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, he went into detail a little more regarding Diaz’s perceived worth - in other words, White maintains that Diaz isn’t as valuable as he thinks he is, and isn’t even a PPV attraction right now:
“Whatever his deal is, he’s got a pretty good deal. I mean, listen, at the end of the day, what is Diaz worth without Conor McGregor? I don’t know. The kid isn’t in a position for pay-per-view or any of that type of s—t. But this could put him in a position. If he fought Tony Ferguson, it would be for the interim title.
“Obviously, if you held the interim title, you would get a piece of the pay-per-view. Diaz has to put himself in a position to make the pay-per-view money.”
This is nothing new - White has been questioning Nate’s popularity as far back as 2014, where he said Diaz “doesn’t move the needle”.
He also discussed his personal feelings on them turning down fights and what fans are really interested in:
“It doesn’t change my life one way or another. People really like the Diaz brothers. When they get in there, they’re tough and gritty and they mix it up. They’re fun to watch and their interviews are fun, and funny. They’re popular guys. But at the end of the day, people are excited about guys who want to win world titles and they want to find out who [are] the best fighters in the world in each weight class. Those are the things that sell and those are the things that people are interested in.”
From a sporting point of view, I agree with White. But from an attraction point of view, this doesn’t seem to make sense. If they were worried about the Diaz brothers’ relevance in weight classes or them going for titles, why was Nick booked against Anderson Silva at 185? Why were both of Nate’s fights against McGregor at 170? It seems like Dana is trying to subtly diminish their value to a certain degree, while conveniently forgetting that the promotion agreed to this and booked the fights.
Whatever the reasoning behind it, it doesn’t look like we’re any closer to seeing Diaz in the cage again anytime soon.