Jake Shields knows the Diaz brothers about as well as anyone in MMA, and he believes they’ve been out of the cage for so long for one reason - money.
Many UFC fans have been missing the Diaz brothers. Nick and Nate are polarizing figures in the game, and have both carved out large fanbases for their fighting styles and their talk in and out of the cage. But Nate hasn’t fought since a loss to Conor McGregor back in 2016. Nick hasn’t fought since January of 2015.
While Nate was recently booked against Dustin Poirier, he did his best on social media to act like he wasn’t going to show up to UFC 230. It turned out to be a moot point anyway since Poirier got injured and had to pull out. Nick has been tied to a UFC 233 bout with Jorge Masvidal, but the bout agreements haven’t been signed yet. So what is taking these guys so long to get back to their careers?
According to teammate Jake Shields, the absence can be chalked up to one word, and it’s not a surprising one - money. While talking to BJPenn.com, Shields summed up why he thinks they’ve been holding out as long as they have:
“I still go back to California to train with Nick and Nate Diaz.
“I have trained with them a lot. Currently, I am in New York so I’m not training with them as much,” Shields added. “I have trained with these guys non-stop for years now. I think they both want to fight still, just not as often. Nate is just waiting for the Conor fight or big fights, and same with Nick, he was just waiting for big fights. They both had great careers already, so they are just looking for the big money fights now.”
Nick has also had USADA issues that have kept him out, but the last suspension was just because he refused to check in with them. We’ll have to wait and see if Masvidal is really the fight he wants, and whether he’s actually going to fight in Anaheim in January. As for Nate, things are wide open again. Will they re-book the Poirier fight? Will he get another top lightweight? Once McGregor’s suspension is sorted out, will it be time for the trilogy fight?
As usual with the Diaz brothers, we just have no idea what is going to happen.