clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nate Diaz ‘lost count’ of how much more UFC paid him to stay on UFC 279 after Khamzat Chimaev debacle

The Stockton slugger wasn’t shy about demanding more money to fight a different opponent at UFC 279, something UFC had no problem forking over.

After a disastrous weigh-in that saw Khamzat Chimaev come in more than seven pounds heavy for his Welterweight main event against Nate Diaz, UFC was forced to throw the majority of UFC 279’s pay-per-view (PPV) main card matchmaking in the trash. In the end, three fights were shifted around to make an almost new card: Nate Diaz fought Tony Ferguson, who was supposed to fight Li Jingliang. Meanwhile, Jingliang fought Daniel Rodriguez, who was supposed to fight Kevin Holland. And Kevin Holland fought Khamzat Chimaev.

This was only possible because all six fighters agreed to the last-minute changes, which according to Kevin Holland and Nate Diaz, came with nice pay bumps. During UFC 279’s post-fight press conference, Diaz laid how how negotiations went with UFC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hunter Campbell, who reportedly handled negotiations.

“I was like, ‘You gotta pay me — if you want to switch people on one f—king day, I just cut 15 pounds, you make me change my opponent? You gotta give me more than you give any of the champions in this whole organization,’” Diaz said. “They were like, ‘Stupid, we already give you [more].’ Oh, well I want more than that, then!”

Asked how much more he got, Diaz smiled and said, “I lost count.”

As for the timeline on when exactly Diaz was informed Chimaev was not going to make weight and their fight might be in jeopardy, Diaz said it was moments before they left to weigh-in on Friday morning.

“I was in the sauna on my last pound and I was like, ‘What the f—k. All right whatever, let me finish this up and we’ll talk about it,’” he said. “They told me, I was like whatever, let’s just get to weigh-in and tell me whatever’s happening after I eat and re-hydrate. But, I figured this motherf—ker, he’s scared. He got scared at the press conference. I knew it was going to happen. People don’t show up to spar me all the time.”

Diaz was surprised at the time when UFC came to him with a proposal to fight Tony Ferguson.

“I didn’t think anything like that would happen, so I was just ready for that. But, you’d figure, right?” Diaz said. “If you’re in the business this long, I’d be like, maybe Holland or ... they didn’t let me fight Chung Li [Li Jingliang], that motherf—ker had the dopest suit in the press conference. You know who I was talking about. I didn’t mean to do that to him. Did you guys see the suit? I felt bad for him on that one, they should have showed him love.”

As for whether Diaz had considered not fighting at all at UFC 279 after Chimaev missed weight?

“I don’t think they were gonna let it be possible, so I didn’t think about that at all,” Diaz stated.

Now, Diaz gets to leave UFC on a win, with more money, and more cred than ever after accepting an opponent change at the last possible moment. What a change from how things were looking just a few days ago.


For complete UFC 279 results and coverage click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania