Nate Diaz praises Conor McGregor for not being a "robot" and standing out
All it took is one momentum-crushing performance for Nate Diaz to finally start getting what he wants.
Diaz's brash, media-shy promoting style and love of martial arts earned him a cult following throughout his MMA career, albeit it was dwarfed by bigger brother Nick's. However, aside from a couple of Fight Night main events, the Stockton native never really received the promotional backing from the UFC to properly showcase his unique star power.
All that changed after UFC 196 when he forced the tap from the promotion's biggest media darling, Conor McGregor. With the seismic win came a huge power shift towards Diaz and now, he's currently holding up the rematch fans and Zuffa's big wigs want to happen, plus he's actually requesting more media work... and he's getting it too.
Ha. Diaz asks for an Esquire interview last week and he apparently gets it. https://t.co/JUnHNyi9lS
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 1, 2016
Diaz gave his take on the way fighters market themselves in his interview with Esquire, admitting he did not like what he was seeing from the vast majority on the UFC's roster. However, he did have some praise for Conor McGregor's method of promoting himself which he believes is very similar to his own.
"I just think fighters need to start making stars out of themselves, you know? Like what Conor [McGregor] is doing. Like, there's somebody speaking up and doing what he says. I've been doing that for years, and I've been having no back up with it - they're just trying to shut me down. But I finally see somebody doing it, and I'm like, "Alright, there's a guy that we can do something with. We can make a show."
"No one's doing anything; they're just keeping their mouths shut and they're like robots. Everybody's the same person. Go out there and make a star out of yourself! People need to start speaking up and saying some shit, and if they want to fight, they should be yelling out names like, "What's up? Let's get a fight!" That's what people want to see."
— eir Sport (@eirSport) March 6, 2016
Diaz was critical of fighters for making call-outs on social media, claiming that actual spoken words are more powerful than a 140 characters or less on the internet. He believes he laid out the blueprint for requesting fights throughout his career, citing his Octagon interview after beating Michael Johnson as a prime example.
"You tell everybody, "What?! That's the motherfucker I want to fight, right there!" Nah, you don't ask for a fight on social media, you get on television and scream it out, like, "Yo, what's up motherfucker, let's get a fight popping." And you make a scene, and now we got a show on our hands."
"Like how I called out Conor. It's like, OK, everybody wants to see him, everybody wants to see me—I'm gonna make them want to see me and him, you know what I'm saying? The blueprint is laid out, people need to start catching on."