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Midnight Mania! Conor McGregor slayer, Nate Diaz, won’t answer UFC’s call unless its worth $20 million

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MMA: UFC 202-Diaz vs McGregor 2
Nate Diaz is done taking nickels and dimes
Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Midnight Mania, where Nate Diaz ain’t gonna be no ho! In fact, he won’t even answer his phone for less than $20 million. We’ve also got Max Holloway getting honored in Hawaii, Roy Nelson doing the mannequin challenge with Mike Tyson, and Ilir Latifi getting a pin removed from his toe.

The exact quote from Diaz (via MMA Fighting):

"I'm only fighting at lightweight for a big fight or 20 million just to take the call. Until then, I'm just living my life."

This is what happens in the rare instance when a fighter both knows his worth, as Diaz now does, has leverage — UFC knows a trilogy with its money-making machine, Conor McGregor, is perhaps its most-watched pay-per-view (PPV) event ever. McGregor already has the clout and earning potential to keep WME | IMG in the black moving forward as the $40 million man. Diaz, meanwhile, would be foolish to not thumb his nose at the company until he gets what he wants. This is part and parcel the reason UFC pays its fighters just above a living wage -- financial difficulty is a real crowbar for them when negotiations get tough.

Unfortunately for them, Diaz has escaped that Matrix, and isn’t planning on going back. He is a millionaire — with no expensive hobbies — and could easily retire now. One last big-money fight, however, would set him up for life ... and he knows it. And while $20 million is still pocket change compared to what the promotion — and McGregor -- would make for a high-profile trilogy match, and the fight doesn’t have an expiration date anytime soon. And Nate is willing to back up his tough talk with his actions.

As Dana White so eloquently tragically argued: You eat what you kill in UFC. And Diaz mangled and strangled its cash cow.

As a reminder of how little problem the Diaz brothers have had backing up their tough talk inside and outside the cage, remember when Nate brawled with Khabib Nurmagomedov? (Area code) 209 vs the Dagestanis is just a combustible combination ... even if “The Eagle” would wrestle Diaz’ to death in a cage.

Diaz’s message to Khabib after said brawl:

Put another in the swear jar, Nate:

Roy Nelson got to train AND do the “Mannequin Challenge” with Mike Tyson? He’s officially having too much fun.

The sport lost someone today. To be honest, I had never heard of him, but people who have been following mixed martial arts (MMA) longer than me are sharing his highlights, which look pretty awesome. Watch these, then pour one out for Morkevicius.

Here’s his whole playlist for those of you who are up all night like me:

Forest Griffin and I party the same way:

I don’t know how UFC Fight Pass doesn’t have a show where Griffin attempts a new career as a life coach. He seems to have it well in hand.

In other news, hobbled interim Featherweight champion Max Holloway was honored with the homegrown hero award in his native Hawaii.

Podcasts and Audio

“Heavy Hands” is out, and Sage and Paige get some airtime:

The “Promotional Malpractice” live chat, in which Luke Thomas opens by calling his dog an idiot.

Tommy Toehold holds an actual podcast, if you didn’t know:

Bobs and Weaves

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier got into it on Twitter:

Oh, not that Jon Jones, and not that Daniel Cormier. These two are fighting about something more relatable!

This was clever of Alan Jouban.

Whatever you do, seriously, never, ever try and placate your lady friend who is stuck home with you on a UFC fight night with a, “Did you know that dude is a Versace model?” story.

It doesn’t work out well. Ever. I learned the hard way.

In case you missed it, Khabib Nurmagomedov responded to Jose Aldo. Apparently the crazy story “Scarface” was telling was (maybe) true — “The Eagle” DID turn down a fight with him — but not because he was afraid.

Aldo says, referring to me, that I refused to fight with him. Tell him that I do not bully the little. I want a real battle, and only Tony can give it to me. At this stage of my career, even if I win Daniel Cormier, fans will say that I have to fight with Tony, and I agree with them. I have spent my career in the UFC asking for the strongest opponents, currently in this division we must decide who is stronger, me or Tony? Without exception, all the fans and experts want to see this fight and I want to give it to them. And you, Aldo, I advise you not to lose the respect of your fans, including me, do not lose your head, do not fall for the mind games of the UFC, and be yourself. ❗ Альдо говорит намекая на меня, что я отказался от боя с ним. Передайте ему, что я маленьких не обижаю. Я хочу реальный бой, и это Тони. На данном этапе моей карьеры если даже я выиграю Даниеля Кормье, фанаты будут говорить, что мне надо подраться с Тони, и я с ними согласен. Я всю свою карьеру в UFC прошу самых сильных соперников, в данный момент в легком весе мне и Тони надо определиться, кто сильнее, я первый номер в рейтинге а Тони второй. Без исключения все фанаты и специалисты хотят этого боя, и я хочу подарить им это. А тебе Альдо я советую не терять уважение от своих фанатов, и в том числе от меня, не теряй голову, не подставляйся под игры UFC, и будь собой. #юфсишныеигрыопятьвтеме @ufc

A photo posted by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

An old video was circulating of Ryan Hall this week, who once easily handled some drunk dude who got in his face:

Ronda Rousey returns before the “New Year” begins. You probably hadn’t heard, though — she’s not a big draw or anything. Nonetheless, remember the last time she stepped into the Octagon? It was insane.

That was violent, while this is just gross. Ilir Latifi, he of horse-riding fame, gets a pin extracted from his surgically-repaired foot:

He will get back on the horse soon.

Great days✨

A photo posted by Ilir Latifi (@ilirlatifi) on

He is, after all, a monster.

While I'm waiting for my foot surgery, still doing som work

A video posted by Ilir Latifi (@ilirlatifi) on

But, not as strong as his son.

Worlds strongest ✨ Lirim ✨

A video posted by Ilir Latifi (@ilirlatifi) on

Ilir Latifi is my hero. And I’m sure I’m not alone!

Quick Hits


This little girl really thinks she’s something.

Posted by on Saturday, November 26, 2016

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