Former UFC Champ Agrees With Nate Diaz In UFC Standoff

Mark J. Rebilas for USA TODAY Sports
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Nate Diaz may be back – or so we think – but his discord with the UFC rages on.

The MMA world was dealt some somewhat shocking but highly desired news last week when it was revealed that Diaz would finally be returning to fight surging contender Dustin Poirier at November 3’s UFC 230 from NYC. The two were scheduled to appear at Friday’s 25th Anniversary Press Conference and did so, squaring off in a faceoff that had it feeling like Diaz was on the cusp of fighting after more than two years off.

But like it often does when the situation involves a Diaz brother, things were “all good” for only a short time. He stormed out of the presser when a promo for Conor McGregor’s UFC 229 return versus Khabib Nurmagomedov was airing, and soon tweeted he was off of UFC 230 with a classic ‘f*** the UFC.’ A video of Diaz sounding off on his employers soon surfaced, apparently having to do with the UFC failing to promote Diaz while Dana White claimed he repeatedly turned down fights while he was supposedly dealing with a lawsuit.

So there’s still some unpacking to do, but one former UFC champion can sympathize with Diaz. Miesha Tate spoke about the topic on Sirius XM Fight Nation (via MMA Fighting) and likened Diaz’ plight to her own when she was promised a title fight with Ronda Rousey in 2015:

“I would feel the same way as Nate does,” Tate said. “Nate has a different personality than I do, he’s expressive in a different way, but of course [I would be mad]. I remember when I threatened retirement because I was so pissed off that they had promised that I would fight Ronda and then they ended up switching that out and having Holly [Holm] but they didn’t tell me. It’s the same thing that happened to Nate, essentially, it’s just that Nate was in front of everybody. I was pissed too, believe me.”

The currently retired Tate believes Diaz is in a tough spot because the UFC will always have the final say and won’t care about the fighters more than what is best for business. Based on that dynamic, she said fighters can either accept it or retire – something Diaz has seemed close to more than once:

“I was mad but they don’t care,” Tate said. “They know that they have a strong arm in a lot of this and it doesn’t really matter. Or if they do care, it’s not enough. Like, ‘I’m sorry but this is what you have to do for business.’ You can’t really argue with them. They’re the ones who are gonna make the final decision, so what can you do? What can Nate do?

“For me it was a whirlwind of emotions, just trying to decide what I even wanted to do next because I felt like it was so unfair. Then it was just coming to terms with, ‘Well, life’s not fair. What do you want to do about it? Are you ready to retire now or not?’ And the truth was I wasn’t ready to retire at that time. Obviously I still went on to fight Jessica Eye after that and went on to win the title against Holly later, so I wasn’t ready to retire but it was just the frustration.”

Tate resolved the sticky situation and obviously went on to have a highly successful career as both the UFC and Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champions, but Diaz’ current spot remains unresolved. To make things even muddier, White recently said he has no idea what’s going on with Diaz, but Tate doesn’t think a conversation with the harsh UFC head man would really change things due to his brutal honesty:

“Having a talk with Dana White helps but it still stings because he’s not the one to have a filter on,” Tate concluded. “The conversation was like, ‘Yeah, but you’re not Ronda Rousey.’

“It’s part of just recognizing that. I have a different value than Ronda and hers is what it is and mine is what it is so I have to continue to work to build mine even more. What else can I do? Get back to the grind. You just try to leverage yourself as much as you can but there’s a point where you don’t have the leverage. You don’t have the final leverage, the UFC does.”