Diaz: UFC Is Keeping Me On Shelf
Nate Diaz has been quiet since losing his August rematch to Conor McGregor, though he popped back up in headlines last week when news broke that he was applying for a boxing license. That decision, according to Diaz, was a result of his belief that the UFC wants to keep him on the sidelines.
Speaking with Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, Diaz said that his recent inactivity is not a result of his own faded desire to fight, but rather a concentrated effort by the UFC.
"I know what this is: I’m being put on the shelf," Diaz said.
"That’s why I’m trying to get a boxing license."
"Nate said that the only fight he wants is Conor…I haven’t heard a word from him [since August]. Usually when guys want a fight, they call."
White is not entirely off-base in believing Diaz isn’t interested in a non-McGregor fight. After UFC 202, Diaz reiterated that only a third fight between he and McGregor would get him back in the cage. Months later, his tune hadn’t changed: He’d fight McGregor, and wouldn’t answer his phone for less than $20 million otherwise.
Pugmire also reported that Nate’s older brother Nick is close to returning to the cage following his 18-month marijuana suspension.
While the Diaz brothers always present a headache for White and the UFC in terms of negotiations, they hold the kind of name recognition that the promotion needs in 2017. With a lack of available stars and big draws, the UFC may need the Diaz brothers more than they need the UFC.