Nate Diaz, who hasn’t competed since UFC 202, is back in action this weekend against former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 241.
The Stockton native believes that after UFC 202, one thing the UFC wanted him to do was to disappear.
“I for sure didn’t lose that fight, but they treated it like, ‘You lost, go down the list, get out of here,’ type of thing,” Diaz said to Brett Okamoto of ESPN (via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “When he lost the first time to me, it was the biggest thing, and he needed his rematch and he’s obsessed with Nate and all this marketing on how much he needed to get this back and how great he is for actually jumping in there and doing it. I’m like, ‘Hold up, how about all the rematches I’ve ever wanted?’ That’s when I should have jumped in my contract, like, ‘Hold up, if I’m going to do this rematch, I want all my rematches that you guys never gave me.’ I should have done that, but I lost a lot of good months in my life just sweating fights that I’ve lost that I didn’t lose.”
Conor McGregor, who defeated Diaz at UFC 202, has fought twice in the UFC since that second meeting, while Diaz has competed zero times.
Diaz admits that it has been killing him to be sitting on the sidelines and not competing since UFC 202.
“I’m like, ‘You guys pay me way too much to be sitting here, playing a stupid (expletive) game doing what you guys want me to do, so I’m going to step it out,'” Diaz said. “Then two years flew by, and the whole time I’m sitting there like, ‘When is somebody going to step their stupid (expletive) up and start calling for a fight,’ because that’s what I did. I’m like, ‘You’re the guy getting all the love and all the (expletive) that I worked hard for, and they’re just handing it over and promoting it, and I put work in, and if you’re not sitting there thinking this guy is getting what you worked for, you’re not working hard enough.' I saw what was happening, and I went out there and took it. OK, this is what I’m about to do, and two years flew by, and I’m like, ‘I don’t need to be begging anyone to fight.’ I don’t need to fight. I beat the best guy at the moment. I beat the best guy, and you’re treating me like, ‘Vanish.’ Then I’m like, ‘(Expletive) me? Well then (expletive) you.’ Then after a certain while, I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with these fighters?’ I’m a bigger draw, a bigger fight than anybody in the game, and you guys are just going to sit back and not participate. Put me in the outskirts: He dropped from the rankings, he’s turning down fights.”
UFC 241 takes place on Saturday, August 17 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.