News broke last night that Nate Diaz had become the latest UFC lightweight to turn down a bout with surging No. 7-ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, the outspoken Stockton native was quick to dispel these notions, taking to Twitter with some choice words for his employer:
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 12, 2014
It’s not the first time (nor will it be the last) that the younger Diaz has ruffled some UFC feathers. He was suspended in May of last year for making a gay slur about Bryan Caraway’s default “Submission of the Night” bonus at UFC 159 after original winner Pat Healy had it stripped after failing a drug test for marijuana.
Diaz also hammed it up when he said that he wouldn’t be able to make it to his scheduled TUF 18 Finale main event against Gray Maynard because of a high school reunion.
His antics may be deemed humorous by many, but Diaz’ decision to speak what is on his mind may be costing him financially. He made a paltry $15,000 for his knockout over Maynard, only reaching $30,000 for the fight thanks to his win bonus. There’s no question that the No. 5-ranked Diaz is one of the most talented 155-pound fighters in the UFC, but like his brother, he simply refuses to “play the game,” as Dana White puts it.
Nurmagomedov is still left without an opponent for the rapidly approaching UFC 170 on February 22. He was rumored to be facing former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, but that fight fell through the cracks due to undisclosed reasons. But while some may not want to fight the undefeated “Eagle,” Diaz is apparently not one of them. His manager Mike Kogan detailed the situation to MMA Mania:
“Nate has never turned down a fight against anyone. There are conditions that we asked for that were turned down by the UFC, so the fight didn’t happen.”
So Diaz and his team didn’t turn down the fight, they were just asking for more than the UFC was willing to give. You can’t blame the popular Diaz for asking for more dough, but either way Nurmagomedov’s search for an opponent for UFC 170 rolls on.
Photo: Kye Terada for USA TODAY Sports