Following their back and forth on Twitter, Nate Diaz vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t sound like too bad of a fight at this exact moment. They’ve got history. Their respective entourages ended up brawling at a World Series of Fighting event in 2015, with Nate declaring he’d slapped Khabib upside the head and his team didn’t do s**t.
Them’s fighting words, and now people suddenly have an appetite for Khabib vs. Nate. This isn’t the first time that’s happened ... in fact, people were harassing UFC president Dana White for that bout back in 2014, and White took the time to respond...
@EDLEZGIN @TeamKhabib Nate turned the fight down— Dana White (@danawhite) January 11, 2014
This continues the general claim that White has been making about the Diaz brothers for the past several years: he keeps offering them these fights, and they just keep mysteriously turning them down. Whaddaya gonna do?
Meanwhile, we’ve got Nate suggesting he won’t come back for less than $20 million dollars. But we’re pretty sure he wasn’t offered that much to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 230, so the truth must be somewhere in between. In 2017, Nate fired back against White’s regular argument that he just kept refusing everything.
This fucker can't stop making shit up about me and I haven't been offered any fights except the one Iaughed at pic.twitter.com/7gRskEXEP9— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) March 20, 2017
“I just think about, I’m not turning down any fight ever,” Diaz told training partner Andre Ward after the first McGregor fight. “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.”
Hey, we understand: you can’t just pay Nate Diaz $20 million dollars without blowing up your entire pay structure. But at the same time, the guy was involved in two of the biggest PPVs in the history of the UFC. His fights with Conor McGregor sold 3 million pay-per-views for the UFC, grossing $180 million for the UFC. You can argue that McGregor drove many of those buys, but Diaz not only saved the first fight by stepping in last minute, he turned right around and made the rematch happen.
It probably helped that the UFC was actually willing to open up their wallet to ensure that went down. Did they do the same when they offered Nate a Khabib fight? Diaz was making $15,000 to show and $15,000 to win at the end of 2013 to headline a TUF Finale. Things may be better now, but we doubt he even gets offered pay-per-view points, which the UFC still tries to keep reserved for champions only.
The UFC is a business, and one of their top priorities after the $4 billion sale was keeping a tight reign on fighter pay. Meanwhile, they keep pretending Nick and Nate Diaz aren’t fighting because they’re just crazy dudes who march to the beat of their own drum. Yes, they’re that too. But they know just how much money they’ve made for the UFC, and at this point if they want to sell 400,000+ pay-per-views off their back, they want a fair share of it.