If you were sitting around last March wondering why Nate Diaz and his older brother Nick Diaz weren’t fighting at UFC 209, you weren’t alone.
Despite widespread fan support for the Diaz brothers to be included on the card that shared the numerals of their infamous Stockton area code, neither Diaz made an appearance at UFC 209. And according to Nate, the UFC never even asked.
“It was almost like an ego thing the UFC was playing,” Diaz said Wednesday on a special edition of The MMA Hour. “Like, no one even called. People were demanding it all over my Twitter and sh*t. People were like, ‘why aren’t Nick and Nate on 209?’ No one called. Why didn’t anyone call for that? I hear people saying they dropped the ball. They did drop the ball on that one.
“I think it would’ve made sense. Like I said, I don’t want to fight nowhere, but it’s what should’ve happened. Right? Isn’t it what should’ve happened? Shouldn’t they have done that? Everybody was expecting it already, why wouldn’t they have no tried to make that happen? They didn’t even attempt. … They just want this to die out. They want me to die out and go away.”
Instead of a ‘209′ themed card that featured the Diaz brothers and was staged in northern California, UFC 209 ended up being an average Las Vegas event headlined by a sluggish rematch between UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson.
But for Diaz, who remains one of the UFC’s biggest stars, the situation at UFC 209 was merely emblematic of a larger problem regarding the lack of promotional support he feels from the company.
“I’m cool, whatever, but is that not what’s happening?” Diaz asked. “Why aren’t we on blast everywhere? … Can I be marketed? Why am I not on the f*cking Wheaties box? Look at the Wheaties box right there — more people know me than him. How come when I go to UFC on FOX, all these dorks are on the wall? Can I get a picture on the wall? Can I get promoted and marketed in a positive way? Like I said, I race, I’m a vegan, I do triathlons, I f*cking teach kids. But all they want to do is (promote) middle fingers and hide me out in the dark corners still.
“Like, you want to put rumors our about me fighting? Let’s start off first by flying me out on a private jet, putting me in a suite, and talking to me respectfully, asking me to have a fight, instead of f*cking putting rumors out that I turned down fights. Because like I said, I’ll fight anybody today, but if we’re going to [do this], I need to be treated like a respectful human being. I need to be asked and treated correctly, because I’m not playing this game no more. You know what I’m saying? You guys have no stars. There’s nobody.
“They try their best to not talk about us,” Diaz continued. “It’s like, as soon as somebody says ‘who’s the stars?,’ they’ll purposely not say me and Nick. But we’re still getting invited to huge parties. They’re still calling. The only ones who ain’t calling are you. We’re not going away.”
One of the examples Diaz pointed to was the blockbuster UFC 205 event last year in New York, where Diaz had to find his own means to gain entry into the event.
“I texted f*cking Dana (White), like ‘what’s up?’ He’s all, ‘man, we’re sold out.’ I’m like, man, I don’t give a f*ck. I don’t want a ticket. Grab me at the front door and walk my ass in,” Diaz said. “What the f*ck you talking about, ‘I ain’t got tickets, I’m sorry?’ That’s crazy. And that’s no hard feelings to Dana.”
Diaz also pointed to the promotional tour he did for his rematch against Conor McGregor at UFC 202 — a event which, along with the first Diaz-McGregor fight at UFC 196, stands as two of the three highest-selling UFC pay-per-views of all-time.
In the lead-up the rematch, Diaz was featured on both Conan and Jimmy Kimmel Live in appearances that he said his management set up without the UFC’s help. And according to Diaz, things changed once the UFC caught wind of them.
“Later, I found out the UFC was like, ‘the only way you can have Nate Diaz on the show is if you have Conor, too,’” Diaz said. “And then my guy who linked it up was like, ‘no, we’re going on without Conor. We’re going out by ourselves. It’s not about him.’ And they’re like, ‘alright, well then they’ve got to at least put a clip of him on.’ You know what I’m saying? Doesn’t that kind of show what’s going on? What? It’s crazy.”
A clip of McGregor berating Diaz ultimately ended up airing midway through Diaz’s appearance on Conan.
And while Diaz’s gripes with the UFC date back longer than most, the lack of respect he feels from the promotion is part of the reason why he likely won’t accept a fight on July 8 against Tony Ferguson at UFC 213.
“I’m not going to just accept a fight because it’s the best move for him and Conor and their manager and the UFC,” Diaz said. “So I’m doing everybody else a favor now? I don’t owe nobody no favors. I never got a compliment for whipping the golden child’s ass. All I did was get dissed as this f*cking 200-pound monster who f*cking beat Conor, then he came beat from adversity and whipped my ass. I don’t think that happened, but they’re fooling everybody pretty good into believing that.
“So, first of all, if they’re going to talk to me about anything, I’d like to be treated with a little more respect and be complimented. Can I get a compliment for whooping your guy’s ass? And now they’re trying to spread rumors about me fighting Ferguson. I’m like, how am I all of a sudden now a lightweight, when all this time Dana White was spitting about how I was a middleweight and praising Conor for fighting my big ass? I’m 174 right now, eating as much as want. Are you kidding me? So I want a little respect from somebody over there.”
Source:: mma fighting