Longtime UFC lightweight contender Nathan Diaz has never been shy about voicing his opinion on things, especially the current state of the 155-pound division. Diaz famously spoke out against Anthony Pettis’ withdrawal from his scheduled UFC on FOX 9 title bout with Josh Thomson, prompting “Showtime” to tell Diaz that his best weapon was his middle finger.
Diaz proved that wasn’t the case when he blasted former rival Gray Maynard into oblivion at last December’s TUF 18 Finale. After the fight, Diaz said that he was going to take some time off and wait for someone to get injured so he could back into a title shot.
In the meantime, Diaz got worked up by the extremely lackluster UFC on FOX 10 headliner between Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson last Saturday. Henderson took home a controversial split decision victory (as he’s been known to do), but UFC President Dana White came out and said that “Smooth” didn’t do enough to lock up another shot at Pettis.
It was a sentiment echoed by Pettis, who, as a member of the UFC on FOX 10 broadcast team, said that Henderson is going to need to prove himself more. Diaz was noticeably angered at the whole scenario, taking to Twitter to voice his opinion when no one called him up for an interview:
Here’s the text that Diaz sent to accompany his tweet and express his frustration at what he deemed a terrible fight:
"Last night's fight was whack, first of all these guys are here to cause confusion. I'm here to put these a-- whoopins down to their maximum effect and you got these guys out here having a wrestling match, they're smiling and shaking hands and having a good time instead of fighting for real. They're play fighting and this s--- is putting me to sleep that's not what I signed up for, nobody wants to watch that s--- and it's definitely causing confusion to the fans and the fighters. I'm not sure who's judging these fights they should have both lost the fight.”
That’s quite the critical point of view from Diaz, who had his title shot against Henderson at UFC on FOX 5 in December 2012 but lost. Henderson injured Diaz’ eye early on, outwrestling the Stockton native en route to one of his few clear-cut decision wins. Win or lose, however, Diaz comes to fight and is getting restless with wrestling matches.
He also had some harsh words for “Showtime,” noting that the champ has put together an all-too-dubious distinction of being a fighter who continually backs out of high profile matchups:
Then you got this other motherf----- playing his Hollywood role on the sidelines in his #sillya--suits getting paid to sit there and state his bulls--- opinion like anyone gives a f--- you've been here two years and pulled out of half your fights so I don't know why you think you're calling the shots why don't you win another fight or two and then maybe you can fight me motherf-----. P.S. I thought Thomson's b---- a-- won the wrestling match."
The outspoken Diaz pulls no punches in his assessment of the strange lightweight title picture. Like him or not, he does raise a few good points in his rant. Neither Henderson nor Thomson did enough to convince the UFC that they truly deserve a title shot, and it’s still unknown when Pettis will be able to return to the cage.
In Thomson’s case, a broken thumb severely hindered his ability to fight to his full potential, but it happened nonetheless. The UFC is simply not going to gain any fans with wrestling-focused matches in main events airing on FOX.
And while Diaz’ mouth has got him into trouble in the past, he may be talking his way into a big fight now. He was rumored to fight surging No. 7-ranked prospect Khabib Nurmagomedov, but that bout fell apart amidst a media windfall.
We’ll see where he ends up. Do you agree with Diaz’ statements about UFC on FOX 10, or is it just another case of him running off at the mouth?
Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale for USA TODAY Sports