Nate Diaz refuses to be manipulated into UFC return: ‘Ask nicely, motherf*ckers’
Nate Diaz vows he’ll dictate the terms of his UFC return, if he returns to the octagon at all.
“I don’t need to fight nobody,” Diaz recently told the “Outside the Box” podcast. “I’ll fight anybody, but I don’t need to fight anybody.”
Sixteen months removed from a career-defining fight against lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), Diaz said life is good. He wakes up, smokes marijuana, runs, and trains at the gym.
The 32-year-old Stockton, Calif., native even teaches from time to time at the academy he started with his older brother, onetime UFC welterweight challenger Nick Diaz.
When fighters such as UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) talk of a potential showdown at UFC 219 and question his heart, Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) scoffs and suspects a setup by the powers that be.
“The fighters are like, ‘He’s not a fighter.’ Sounds like you’re being manipulated into trying to manipulate me into getting into a fight,” Diaz said. “Guess what: You work for somebody. I work for me. Who’s the fighter now, (expletive)? So that’s the name of the game right now.”
Diaz said he’s willing to return to the octagon and fight whomever the promotion wants. He is interested in “a big fight, a big show.” Undoubtedly, that means a rematch with McGregor, whose drawing power helped him bank the biggest paydays of his career.
But he won’t settle.
Asked whether he’d welcome a rubber match with the UFC lightweight champ, Diaz said, “Time will tell. I don’t know right now. I think what’s happening is they want me to ask and beg, and I don’t need nothing from anybody.”
UFC President Dana White has said Diaz remains in limbo after turning down several fights. White shot down Woodley’s claim of an offer to face Diaz at UFC 219, claiming a UFC executive made an unauthorized offer that wasn’t official.
In characteristic fashion, Diaz shot back on Instagram, responding, “Shutup (expletive), your both thirsty …. and why is u lying.”
At times, the Diaz brothers and their promoter seem miles away from coming together, leading to speculation of a move into boxing, where they might receive the purses they desire. That would undoubtedly trigger a court battle with the UFC.
The way it stands now, the industry-leading promotion has the right to extend the Diaz’s contract when they turn down fights, extending the current stalemate. To break it, the younger Diaz said the brothers want respect.
“We put in our work,” Diaz said. “And I’ll put in more work. But ask nicely, (expletive). Ask nicely.”
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