Diaz fires back at Dana White and claims that he isn’t returning to the UFC for a ‘fake’ title fight.
Most fighters would snap up the opportunity to fight for a UFC interim title, but not Stockton’s own Nate Diaz.
Diaz, 32, was reportedly offered a lightweight championship bout against the No. 2 ranked Tony Ferguson at UFC 213, but the Californian turned it down because he doesn’t want to cut weight or fight for a ‘fake’, interim belt.
“If you’re trying to pull me out of a normal life right now, I’m not doing it for a fake title at 155 pounds,” Diaz told Brett Okamoto of ESPN in a recent interview. “I told them I’d take the fight at 165 pounds, no belt. I’m not interested in losing a bunch of weight for no reason.”
Diaz made mega money in last year’s blockbuster rematch against Conor McGregor, banking $2 million at UFC 202, but is not expecting to make the same amount in his next fight. According to Diaz, he never got to financial negotiations with the UFC and is annoyed about being asked to pull out of his normal life to fight for a worthless title.
“We never talked after that,” he said. “It’s really not a problem for me, though. You’re trying to call me out of my life. I didn’t call you begging for a fight. I’m fine with taking a fight, but I’m telling you what it’s going to take.”
UFC president Dana White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that Diaz ‘isn’t in a position’ for pay-per-view money and questioned his financial worth without McGregor, but the fan favorite knows his true worth and claims White is ‘making stuff up’.
“He’s making stuff up because that’s what he needs to do. He’s trying to get me to argue with him, but there’s no argument necessary. It’s cool. If I’m not worth s—, why am I all over the news with people trying to figure out what’s what, when I’m not fighting?”
Diaz said that if he’s offered another ‘nonsense’ interim title fight, his minimum demand is $20 million.
“If they call me with a nonsense fight, my number is $20 million,” Diaz said. “You call me with a fight that won’t do me any good, you need to pay me $20 million just to hear that bulls—.
“I have a contract, but that’s only for when I want to fight. That’s how that works, right? Right now, I don’t want to fight nobody.”
Diaz is the only fighter under the UFC banner to beat McGregor, choking the Irishman out at UFC 196 but losing in the rematch at UFC 202, and is considered one of the top draws in MMA. The Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt holds wins over the likes of McGregor, Donald Cerrone, Michael Johnson, Jim Miller, and Gray Maynard.