UFC lightweight and one part of the notorious Stockton bad boys Nate Diaz has been inactive since his 2013 TKO over Gray Maynard, in search of better wages and a more juicy contract. The eight month sit since The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale has been filled back-and-forth jives between Diaz and UFC president Dana White, and it seems that things aren’t going to get better very quickly.
After turning down multiple fights, and slating his former employers, it looks as if Diaz has burned whatever bridges had existed with Zuffa. White, speaking with media in Dublin (transcribed by MMAMania), says that Diaz just isn’t enough of a draw to call back:
“He’s under contract, you know? He’s under contract and when he’s ready to fight he can fight. The kid makes good money. The kid makes really good money. And the unfortunate part is, he’s not a needle mover. His brother (Nick Diaz) is a needle mover, he’s not.”
Diaz has racked up a 12-7 promotional record, including wins over Takanori Gomi, Donald Cerrone, Rory Markham, Marcus Davis, Jim Miller and Gray Maynard. What we have also seen is a tendancy to stumble against big names, such as Ben Henderson, Josh Thomson, Rory MacDonald and Kim Dong Hyun.
“He seems like he’s popular when you’re looking on f–king Twitter and some website. But the numbers, the real numbers, tell the truth. We know who moves needles and who doesn’t move needles. If Nate Diaz was a massive needle mover, we’d have called him. He’d be on the phone, we’d be figuring it out and we’d work it out. He doesn’t move the needle.This isn’t a sort things out thing, you are under contract. He just signed the contract. Who is really at the end of the day happy? When we signed Melendez is when he got unhappy, when his partner signed that contract is when he became unhappy.”
Could we be witnessing a severe case of the green eyed monster from the younger Diaz brother, or does this argument go deeper than just one fighter and his contract negotiations? When you look at what these guys do for a living, what they put on the line in the cage, and sacrifice to be part of the UFC, should the pay off be bigger?
One thing is for sure, Diaz has just been sent a message; either come back and earn a better contract, or get used to not fighting. My gut tells me that Nate Diaz is more likely to give in before a multi-billion dollar fight promotion, but I suppose you never know….