After 12 years in the stingy MMA fight game, Nate Diaz (pictured) finally has significant leverage on his side of the bargaining table. The 31-year-old is attacking the negotiations for Conor McGregor’s rematch like a white hot free agent that everyone wants a piece of, and while it’s ballsy to give the UFC’s head honchos push back, it’s the smart play.
Did you catch the wording there? “For Conor McGregor’s rematch.”
After submitting the UFC’s golden boy in March after accepting the scrap on just 11 days’ notice, Diaz has spotlighted on multiple occasions that it is McGregor who is hellbent on securing an immediate do over, not Diaz. For that reason, parlayed with the fact Diaz knows the UFC believes the best way for their cash cow to reclaim his mystique is to avenge the shocking defeat as quickly as possible, Diaz believes now is the perfect time to strike while the iron is scorching hot.
“I said, ‘That was one of the biggest fights you ever had on 10 days’ notice, and he’s the biggest draw that you’ve ever had, and I just beat your biggest draw,’” Diaz told The MMA Hour on Wednesday. “So, if you don’t mind, I would like to be compensated better than I was the last time they were trying to offer me.”
UFC president Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta met with McGregor last Wednesday to iron out their fractured relationship after they pulled him from UFC 200, where McGregor was initially slated to rematch Diaz, after McGregor refused to abide by their promotional demands.
The meeting went well, reportedly with both sides agreeing to have the sequel headline UFC 202 in August. UFC brass met with Diaz two days later, but those negotiations quickly went south with White reportedly storming out.
According to Diaz, White wasn’t as irate as reports have suggested. Although, pen has still not been put to paper.
“Nothing is done, but I don’t think any damage was done,” Diaz said. “We’re still on good terms. I’ve been texting with Dana. He’s real cool. I’m sure he wasn’t the happiest at the moment, and I was thinking, ‘Wow, I might have pissed him off.’ But I just said what I had to say. I told him at the end, ‘I don’t want to piss anyone off. I’m just trying to get mine, because it’s time to get mine. It’s been a long road. I need to get mine while I can. If not, I don’t think I ever will.’
“He was like, ‘I understand, man. It’s not about pissing people off. It’s not about us being pissed. We’ve just got to figure it out.’ So we’ve been texting back and forth.”
Diaz scored a career-high disclosed salary of $500,000 for upsetting McGregor at UFC 196. He also pocketed a total of $100,000 in bonuses for Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night. However, UFC brass claim Diaz actually made “millions” for the PPV that garnered 1.5 million buys.
Prior to the bout, McGregor boasted he would “breeze past $10 million” for the fight.
McGregor vs. Diaz II is expected to be just as blockbuster as the original, and Diaz understandably wants a bigger piece of the pie.
Diaz knows his stock has never been higher, and more importantly, he knows it’s time to cash in.