Before UFC 227, the organization put together its 25th anniversary press conference to announce of a bunch of highly anticipated fights. Fans roared in approval when Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor was announced. Nate Diaz — scheduled to fight Dustin Poirier — did not.
Diaz didn’t mince words. He tweeted “f*k the UFC”, claiming he wouldn’t perform at UFC 230. Poirier (playfully) joined in on the indignation. When reporters caught up to Diaz, he minced meaning but didn’t mince words.
Dana White eventually responded. (Per MMAjunkie)
“You tell me if everything’s alright with Diaz,” White said. “If you can decipher that code, call me tomorrow and let me know.”
Asked whether he’d spoken to Diaz, White said, “What would we talk about? His lawsuit? I don’t know what he’s talking about.”
For those that don’t remember, Diaz’s former agency, The Ballengee Group, sued him for $1 million in services rendered after Diaz fired them before the second bout with McGregor. A Texas court dismissed the case back in February.
Regardless of the confusing drama, Miesha Tate was on Sirius XM Fight Nation this past weekend to take Diaz’s side. (Via MMA Fighting)
“I would feel the same way as Nate does,” Tate said. “Nate has a different personality than I do, he’s expressive in a different way, but of course [I would be mad]. I remember when I threatened retirement because I was so pissed off that they had promised that I would fight Ronda and then they ended up switching that out and having Holly [Holm] but they didn’t tell me. It’s the same thing that happened to Nate, essentially, it’s just that Nate was in front of everybody. I was pissed too, believe me.”
This isn’t the first time the UFC has reneged on promises. In addition to Tate’s fight with Ronda Rousey, Tyron Woodley was stuck in a similar situation at welterweight before UFC 174.
There’s also the bizarre story from Georges St-Pierre that he was offered a bout with Diaz. In normal circumstances under a normal organization, you’d expect bouts to be offered under the assumption that fighter X or Y are available to begin with, so Dana’s reaction to information about Diaz’s lawsuit is a bit puzzling.
Lightweight has become a super-organism of bus violence, broken knees, and gossip. With the division stalled by its own absurdity, the hope from fans is that the scheduled fights might finally clarify the hierarchy of talent.