Recently, the MMA universe has been entranced with the rumors that lightweight fan favorite Nate Diaz is finally returning from his self-imposed hiatus that’s approaching two years without a fight.
Diaz was linked to a bout with UFC legend Georges St-Pierre – at lightweight of all places – a fight that didn’t make much sense on paper but would have brought both eyeballs and dollar signs to August 4’s UFC 227 from Los Angeles nonetheless.
But Diaz, as he’s done with every single potentially huge match-up throw his way in the last two years, unceremoniously shot it down this weekend, stating that he wouldn’t fight St-Pierre because of some supposed shady business that went down when “GSP” fought his brother Nick in 2013.
Diaz claims he’s ‘interested in doing something’ but ‘nobody interests him,’ creating a scene where he appears to be waiting for the singular opponent who boosted his otherwise middling star power into the stratosphere with their record-setting, now-historic rivalry in 2016. However, while he waits for that elusive trilogy match, his shtick is simply growing tired as he calls out an entire division on Twitter and refuses to take huge fights most fighters wait their entire careers for by calling them ‘uninteresting.’
We broke down five reasons why Diaz’ teasing, entitled act is growing old. Check them out:
5.) He’s Calling Out Active Fighters While Refusing To Fight:
Diaz claims he wants to fight, going so far as to tease a comeback in ‘May or June’ earlier this year.
When that predictably didn’t materialize, Diaz got back on social media, the place where he’s been throwing all his blows as of late, to poke fun at Tony Ferguson for withdrawing from his main event versus Khabib Nurmagomedov at April 7’s UFC 223 due to a serious knee injury.
Diaz said Ferguson ‘couldn’t even make it to war,’ to which Ferguson clapped back that Diaz would first need to sign up to fight.
Like him or not, ‘El Cucuy’ has a point there, as it’s simply hypocritical that Diaz would call out a fighter looking to compete for a title for getting hurt while he sits on the sidelines doing nothing. He wants a big fight – or so he claims – but at this point, the fights with St-Pierre, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, Ferguson, and former lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez have all been discussed or offered and he’s admittedly turned them down.
That’s why it’s hypocritical to call out the fighters who are actually focused on competing, and it’s growing old if it hasn’t been for months already.
4.) He Isn’t The Proven PPV Draw He Claims To Be:
In the recent interview where he stated he wouldn’t be fighting St-Pierre, Diaz said that people needed to realize that whatever fight he was booked in would be a money fight:
What people don’t understand is that any fight I fight is going to be a money fight,” Diaz said. “I’m not waiting for anybody. I’m just waiting for a motherf-cker to do something. Let’s get a real fight going. I’m not going to be involved in no weak sh-t.”
So, a fight with a former middleweight and welterweight champion who is arguably the greatest fighter of all-time is some ‘weak sh-t?’ A fight he doesn’t deserve with the current welterweight champion isn’t ‘real’ and is just more ‘weak sh-t?’
What, then, exactly is the ‘real fight’ Diaz refers to?
I think we all know which fight he’s referring to, but that fight – his oft-rumored trilogy with McGregor – may or may not be coming anytime soon given McGregor’s own propensity for staying inactive, his pending match-up with Khabib when he finally does return, and his upcoming court date in New York.
Overall, McGregor made Diaz as a top pay-per-view draw. He was always a fan favorite, but most of his big fights were on free TV and he had never headlined a pay-per-view without McGregor before he stepped in on short notice in March 2016.
True, the aforementioned bouts with St-Pierre and Woodley would most likely sell huge on pay-per-view, but let’s not forget how Diaz got here in the first place.
Was it all because of McGregor? At least to some large degree it was.
3.) There Are Plenty Of Huge Fights Available For Him Right Now:
As mentioned in the prior reason, Diaz claims that there are only weak fights available for him right now.
Based on the reports that he’s been offered St-Pierre, Woodley, Ferguson, and Alvarez, in addition to Dana White constantly saying the UFC offers him fights only to be turned down, it’s obvious that there are some truly huge fights available for him right now.
He just doesn’t want them. If he wanted to fight like he says he does, all he would have to do is sign and a huge fight would be his immediately. Turning down a fight with St-Pierre in your own weight class is a clear sign he doesn’t want to fight.
Very few fighters at this point in time will ever get the chance to face the 36-year-old MMA legend as he competes in what most would expect to be only a few more fights at most, let alone a 19-11 fighter who would be the only fighter with such a record to somehow face GSP.
But he doesn’t want it, just like he doesn’t want Woodley or Ferguson, or anything else but the next reason on our list. For MMA fans, it’s a big reason why his act is growing weary.
2.) He’s Clearly Waiting For Conor McGregor:
All of this adds up to one thing: Diaz is simply waiting for his trilogy bout with McGregor.
It was a foregone conclusion the second the controversial Irishman outlasted Diaz by a close majority decision in their rematch at 2016’s UFC 202, but the heat for the fight has cooled significantly since, and most of that has to be because of Diaz’ inactivity.
The fight game has a short memory, and while the McGregor vs. Diaz trilogy would no doubt be huge – record-breaking, even – now is not the time for it to happen. McGregor needs to return and attempt to get the title he never defended back from Nurmagomedov – he got arrested for throwing a metal dolly through a bus holding the undefeated champion – so if that fight doesn’t happen first it’s a travesty of epic proportions.
Considering McGregor’s schedule lately and depending on what the outcome of his fight with “The Eagle” is, Diaz could be waiting an incredibly long time for the trilogy to materialize if it ever does. He does have the fact that McGregor’s longtime head coach John Kavanagh recently said it has to happen going for him, but that’s only a straw to grasp at.
At this point, it’s hard to watch Diaz continue to wait for McGregor, and he could be waiting a very long time.
1.) Finally, It’s Just Plain Entitled For A 19-11 Fighter:
In summation, Diaz’ self-imposed exile and the fact he continues to call out top fighters who are actually competing is just an overall microcosm of perhaps the biggest problem the UFC faces right now – that their top fighters are more than willing to cherry-pick favorable match-ups and talk trash on social media but not actually step into the cage.
It’s happening all over the sport of MMA, not just with Diaz and McGregor, even though they are the two most prominent examples of this blight on the fight game.
But Diaz’ version of this problem is coming more and more to the forefront of UFC news these days, and that makes the sheer ridiculousness of it become apparent. The younger Diaz is a great fighter and even better personality, that much is for sure, but his overall 19-11 record begs something to be desired, especially for a man who calls high-profile match-ups with a legendary former champ and a current champ up a weight class ‘weak sh-t.’
Diaz’ biggest win is obviously over McGregor, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find another victory on his record that even comes close to that scope of attention. His unanimous decision win over Donald Cerrone in 2011 is probably his next best win. His last win at lightweight was a decision over Michael Johnson, an opponent who has lost five of his last six fights and was recently finished in his featherweight debut after leaving 155 pounds.
Diaz is 3-4 in his last seven fights, the kind of record that usually gets UFC athletes cut from the roster more than it gets them a ‘super fight’ they don’t deserve with the likes of St-Pierre or Woodley.
This sitting out waiting for the perfect opportunity, in my opinion, is the biggest problem facing the UFC’s sagging pay-per-view sales, and Diaz is the poster boy for all of it at this point. He’s a great name who has found a ton of success using a savvy blend of promoting his anti-establishment personality with his up-and-down in-cage results. The UFC may or may not need him, but they could certainly use him, and of course we’d all watch any fight he returned to with anticipation.
But overall, it looks like he feels the UFC, and to an extent, the fight game, owes him everything, and that’s just a bad look for MMA that trickles down to all fighters and a big reason why his shtick is growing tired.
Let us know how you feel about the situation. Are you still excited to read the never-ending stream of Diaz news without ever getting any payoff?