As rumors of a Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight heats up, Nate Diaz is still in negotiations for a rematch after his victory by submission at UFC 196.
In an exclusive interview with Ariel Helwani on the The MMA Hour, Nate Diaz talks about the meeting with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta among other fight-related topics.
The UFC executives flew to Stockton, California, to discuss the terms of the McGregor vs. Diaz match-up this month. TMZ reported that Dana White “stormed out” of the lunch meeting. While Diaz admits that the meeting didn’t go as planned, he states that the report was sensationalized.
“That was exaggerated,” Diaz said of the TMZ report. “We finished talking and then we walked out. It wasn’t the worst meeting. It wasn’t the best meeting but it wasn’t the worst meeting either.”
McGregor had a meeting with the UFC bosses – a week prior to the Diaz meeting – that seems to have ended amicably. The UFC featherweight champion posted an Instagram picture with the caption “This is what good business looks like,” showing himself and Lorenzo smiling as they concluded the meeting.
Diaz explains that the meeting did not go well because he wants more money. UFC 196 is reported to have been the second biggest pay-per-view buy rate in UFC history, so it comes as no surprise that Nate Diaz would like to be well paid for the follow-up fight.
He explained to Ariel Helwani, “It seems like this is a pretty big deal, so can I be compensated for this?” Diaz said. “They weren’t the happiest about that, but they’re not talking to me about it right now, so we’re working on it and we’re going to get it figured out.”
The rematch was scheduled for UFC 200, which was cancelled because Conor McGregor refused to show up for his promotional duties in Las Vegas. Dana White told Colin Cowherd’s The Herd on Fox Sports 1 that the UFC was spending $10 million promoting the fight and backing out was unacceptable.
However, Nate Diaz showed up for the promotion and therefore feels that a new deal should be put in place.
“I think they thought that this is the new deal, this is a new fight. That was UFC 200, this is UFC 202 now. I said yes to 200, and I wasn’t happy with it. I was rushed into the last thing anyway.”
Diaz goes on to question McGregor’s fighting record and expresses that he feels Conor is a product of UFC’s marketing machine while he built his reputation on several big fights.
“Conor McGregor is an artificial, they pushed him and he wasn’t whooping all types of a**es and s**t. They put me in, I’ve been in fight after fight, I didn’t do no media, I didn’t do no s**t… now he’s where he’s at because the UFC kicked his a** and put him in gear and blew him up. How come he was such a big deal when he beat Dennis Siver. Who the f**k is Dennis Siver? Is that guy even ranked?”
Nate Diaz is one of the most accomplished fighters in UFC history, with 14 post-fight bonuses and nine submission finishes. He was also the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5.
When asked about the McGregor-Mayweather matchup, Diaz suspects that it’s a ploy to buy McGregor, who is UFC’s biggest star, more time to train for the rematch.
“It’s all trying to hide the fact that he got his ass whooped and that they want to buy him more time to get better if we are going to fight,” Diaz added. “I think the Mayweather thing is a publicity stunt.”
Nate Diaz acknowledges the Floyd fight will be big and beneficial for both fighters but doesn’t think Conor has a chance in a boxing match against the undefeated Mayweather. On the other hand, Diaz feels that Mayweather fighting Conor in an MMA matchup will be “more embarrassing than if Conor fought Floyd in a boxing match.”
Nate Diaz also tells Ariel Helwani that he is still in communication with Dana White and his fight with Conor McGregor is still on the table.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]