In anticipation of the much hyped rematch between Nate Diaz and UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 202, Diaz spoke to UFC in The Exchange on a variety of topics.
When talking about the rematch being booked, Diaz first thought that that UFC was trying "weed" him out, but said that the payday was too good to pass. Diaz got a reported payout of $500,000 for his first fight against McGregor at UFC 196, not counting any bonuses or sponsor money.
“So when it first got booked I was like, ‘They want to get me right back in there and try to win this back and weed me out again.’ That’s how it felt," Diaz said. "I’m was like, ‘Can I just sit back for 8 months and soak up some popularity and some exposure and just go on vacation and do what I gotta do?’ And they were like, ‘We want this’ and I’m like, ‘Why so quick? Whatever.’ Then the deals got done and I was like, ‘Wow. That payday and this payday in that short amount of time, can’t pass that up so let’s do it. But I feel like these guys want to weed me right back out, hoping that I lose. Alright, they’d better hope I lose because if I win this one, I’m really taking over.”
The first fight between the two set a UFC record for pay-per-view buys at the time. McGregor was supposed to fight Raphael Dos Anjos at UFC 196, but withdrew due to injury less than two weeks, so Diaz stepped in. The result was a financial success for the company. UFC 202 will be held at the T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016.
Credit to MMA Fighting for the transcript of the interview.