How Nate Diaz justifies turning down fights is absolutely genius
The UFC would be nothing without its fighters, everyone knows it, but few really understand what that means.
One fighter who most certainly gets it is Nate Diaz.
Diaz is not the most eloquent, nor is he the most coherent, but be under no illusion, the Stockton native is intelligent.
He's intelligent in the way he expresses himself inside the cage and, if you listen closely to his often expletive-laden speech, you'll notice some pearls of wisdom that only come through a lifetime of dedication to his art and an age working at the zenith of the sport.
After coming out the other side of a rotten multi-fight deal with the UFC with his job intact, Diaz seized an opportunity to make himself a marquee name by finishing the biggest superstar in the sport at UFC 196. Ever since then, he vowed not to fight unless he got paid adequately.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) August 22, 2016
He spoke about how he arrived at this conclusion with boxer Andre Ward on CSN Fights. When the numbers came in for UFC 196, he knew the promotion would be trying their utmost to book an immediate rematch against Conor McGregor.
There was only one motivation for Diaz to accept that offer after winning the first fight so convincingly - money. He knew by the way he finished the fight, that he held all the cards. He could call the shots, to a certain extent.
"As far as business goes, you get what they want. They needed the rematch to happen. I didn't need that rematch to happen."
"I went into it knowing that if I didn't win by finish or something, they were going to put it hidden away, so that made me even stronger with negotiations. You guys ain't got to give me nothing, so you've got to give me something."
Obviously, McGregor went on to level the score at UFC 202 by scoring a majority victory in a brutal five-round war for the ages. 'The Notorious' went on to claim the lightweight belt and is now in pursuit of a crossover mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather, meaning the completion of the trilogy against Diaz may take a while.
Diaz has been offered fights in the interim, including one against former lightweight king Eddie Alvarez, but he has turned them all down. For a man who built a career on the 'anyone, any time, anywhere' mentality, this could have created a huge internal conflict between staying true to himself and trying not to get screwed over by the UFC.
However, he has found a way to justify it. In his eyes, he's not turning down the fight, but rather, it's the promotion who are walking away from his offer.
"I just think about, I'm not turning down any fight ever. They might be turning down the deal. So it's on them. It's not in my hands because I'll fight when you pay."
If you want Diaz to fight again, it's going to cost you, UFC.