Nate Diaz wants a rubber match with Conor McGregor. And he’s not taking no for an answer.
Speaking with the media following UFC 202, Stockton’s Native Son said he’s not going to come back for anything short of a trilogy with McGregor.
“I’m not doing s–t until we go for round three,” said Diaz via Shaun Al-Shatti of MMAFighting.com on Twitter. “You won’t see me until then.”
Diaz inhabits something of a strange space in MMA today. After defeating McGregor at UFC 196, he instantly went from being a fan favorite contender to one of the UFC’s biggest names, despite the fact that he has never been able to find consistent success in the Octagon.
His 6-6 record since 2011 would suggest he is deserving of midcard fights, but his pure drawing power should guarantee him big-money matchups against high-level players.
Unfortunately, given the incredible lack of revenue being generated at 155 and 170 pounds, and the hotly contested title pictures in both divisions, few opponents make sense for Diaz outside McGregor.
There’s most certainly cause to believe that Diaz is serious about sitting out, too. After defeating Gray Maynard in 2013, Diaz and the UFC wound up in a bitter contract dispute due to Diaz’s gross low pay (according to MMAJunkie.com, he earned a measly $15,000 in show money and a $15,000 win bonus for his main event fight opposite a two-time title contender).
That resulted in two year-long layoffs, where he and his manager butted heads with UFC brass and their relationship remains frosty to this day.
Unfortunately for Diaz, the UFC isn’t on board with that fight as UFC President Dana White flatly said “we’re definitely not doing this a third time right now” in an interview with Fox Sports 1 during their UFC 202 post-fight show. While White’s words carry little weight these days, that certainly isn’t a positive sign regarding a Diaz return.
The good news for Diaz fans is that, if he does end up in another lengthy holdout following UFC 202, he will have a solid chunk of change to sit on, making a disclosed $2,000,000 USD for the fight, not including any locker room bonuses or any cut of the pay-per-view revenue. That’s a big upgrade from last time.
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