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Nathan Donald Diaz was very active on Instagram today. He posted a series of pictures, culminating in one that hinted at a comeback:
Sick of sitting around waiting for you fuckers to do shit there’s no excitement in this fight shit step your games up I’ll see u around may,June.Sincerely The Real Champ
Will we see Nate Diaz back in the Octagon in 2018? The main obstacle thus far has been money. Diaz has stated he wants to be paid 20 million dollars for a return bout. While no great sum for a draw of Diaz’ caliber in the boxing world, of which Diaz is well-versed, this is astronomical by the standards of the UFC, who, by all reports, cut their fighters only ~12-17% of gross revenue. By hiding most other revenue streams- apparel endorsements during fight week, banner ads, the cash from their lucrative TV deals, even the right to profit off their own likenesses in video games- the UFC is able to keep their fighters desperate enough for the next payday that they have to take whatever fight is offered to feed their family. In fact, they often have to work full-time in addition to training as professional athletes.
Diaz, however, by a combination of luck, skill, his unique brand of charisma, weed sponsorships, and two multi-million dollar paydays against McGregor, has escaped that rat race, and thus has the power to hold out for a higher sum in negotiations, which he so far has done. The only fight out there which satisfies his requirements at a level where the UFC can still take home their massive slice, is against that Notorious Irishman, Conor Anthony McGregor.
Is that the fight we are about to witness? It is possible. If Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are battling for the “real” lightweight title at UFC 223, then what Dana White refused to admit, is true: McGregor has been, or will be, stripped of his lightweight title. (Another digression: there aren’t any real rules surrounding UFC titles because they aren’t legal titles, sanctioned by independent bodies; the UFC in fact have full control over their distribution. They are purely promotional tools, given to the “best fighter on the night”. They are fiat currency, only worth what we think they are worth. Hence Nate Diaz’ wisdom in declaring them, ultimately, fairy tales)
If McGregor is stripped, there is no reason for him to immediately fight for the 155-lb. belt upon his return. He could very well decide to finish his trilogy with Nate Diaz; their first and second bouts sold more Pay-Per-Views (PPVs), with no title on the line, than his massively promoted title fight against Eddie Alvarez. In other words, there is no UFC opponent, save perhaps Georges St. Pierre, that makes more financial sense for McGregor than Nathan Diaz.
Will Nate Diaz return this year?
This poll is closed
Yes, he will fight Conor McGregor
No, he is selling wolf tickets
Yes, he will fight someone other than McGregor
It’s all wind and dust
The storm of pictures by Diaz seemed to be kicked off by this one, a throwback to ten years ago today, when Diaz won a fight night bonus for submitting Alvin Robinson with a triangle choke.
Nate also shared that he hates this classic image, taken after he choked out Conor McGregor in their first bout at UFC 196:
Eddie Alvarez wants the Diaz fight:
Excellent life advice from John Danaher, who is coaching elite grappling specialist Gary Tonon as he begins a transition to MMA:
Doing time: Whenever you start of a new enterprise there is a period where you have to start off at the bottom and “take your lumps.” A well run and progressive training program can shorten this time, but can never eliminate it. It is up to the athlete to work through it as long as necessary until his or her stint is over. I see this all the time, even in grappling. We all want new skills, but they don’t come overnight. There has to be several attributes in the athlete if he or she is to get through the frustration of the early learning process. First, patience, Second, resilience and third, faith. Patience to let time work it’s magic, resilience to take the early knocks and go the distance required, and faith that a program will create in time the changes needed to take you to your goals. All of us have to do our time. Not just at white belt, but every time we incorporate new techniques and tactics into our game. That ability to endure these times is the key to progress. Here, Garry Tonon does his time just a couple of months into MMA training with the formidable Jake Shields. Photo @supersaiyanmagicalgirl
I agree- their faces are too similar for this.
These mashup photos are always odd. This one of Nelson and Mitrione just looks like some dude got his nose smashed and he has no idea how to shave. pic.twitter.com/CQiLIVsBc0— TJ De Santis (@TJDeSantis) January 24, 2018
Dominick Cruz discusses the hardship associated with starting his MMA career:
Dominick Cruz Discusses How He Started MMA & The Hardships https://t.co/J3CcubzaBi— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) January 24, 2018
This is great from one of Joanne Calderwood’s fans:
I’ve always had quality fans which I’m very grateful for but out of the bunch this girl really deserves a special mention. Not only cause of this amazing #funkopop....Just take a look at her page, very inspiring talented supporter of the sport. The sport needs more people like @hayleyhbomb #nohatetolerated
That is a cool poster, and Andrei Arlovski likes his beard in it.
Chris Weidman wrestled Ben Askren in college
"Chris Weidman vs Ben Askren 2001 (Wrestling)" on YouTube - https://t.co/M33ROckUVw— Honky Extraordinaire (@Mr_Honky) January 23, 2018
Derrick Lewis with some light sparring:
Yves Edwards had some fun with this video based on Aaron Pico’s knockout and celebration:
Congrats @aaronpicousa I didn't know you had the dance moves too. . . @andrewjitsu you need to make more of these . #bellator #mma #wrestling #bodyshots #bodyshot #bodysnatcher #ufc #fighting #losangeles #california #punches #goodshot #dance #dancefever #dancedance #dancedancerevolution #muaythai #nogi #submission
Chad Mendes is looking at this summer for a comeback too: that’s when his USADA suspension is up.
Justin Golightly made this comic celebrating the indestructible Darren Elkins, the Damage.
Speaking of people with incredible comebacks:
Muay Thai fighter John Wayne Parr has some fun with body shots.
Slips, Rips, and KO Clips
Here are some knockouts from the weekend I didn’t see:
Good morning— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) January 21, 2018
William Whipple KOs Yodbanjong Petchrambo (MAX) pic.twitter.com/bTb0B9VtQx
Holy shit, indeed. That’s an escape from back control I’ve always wondered about, but never seen work:
- Phil Mackenzie is always on my required reading list, and his re-telling and dissection of Rory Macdonald’s Bellator title win over Douglas Lima, placed in the context of his career, is excellent.
- Stipe Miocic does it all: win the UFC title, fight fires, and sweep his house for his pregnant wife.
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Felice Herrig is a great fight, and addition to UFC 223 in Brooklyn.
Podcasts and Video
Andrew Richardson breaks down Derek Brunson’s punching! Follow MMA Mania on Youtube
What fights should you be paying attention to this weekend? Flyin Brian J has you covered:
While you are at it, check out his beer pairing for this weekend’s UFC card:
Luke Thomas takes a hard look at Francis Ngannou’s takedown defense:
I will never write anything this good. Rest in Peace, Ursula Le Guin.
Ursula Le Guin wrote maybe the most beautiful opening paragraph of any book I've ever read. It's from The Lathe of Heaven.— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 23, 2018
I have it bookmarked for when I forget how words work. I read it all the time. It's here. pic.twitter.com/8YCxXYLbC8