4/08/2014 8:56pm, #1
Nate Diaz breaks silence about issues with UFC
Nate Diaz hasn't talked to the media since his dominant first-round TKO win over Gray Maynard on Nov. 30. He hasn't been necessarily quiet, though, since then either.
Over the past few months, Diaz has tweeted about his displeasure with fighting in the UFC. Most recently, he asked to be released. He hasn't said much since then -- though, he did tweet "more money..." early Tuesday morning.
Last month, UFC president Dana White said he had not talked to Diaz and was not interested in releasing him.
"Really? He hasn't called me. That's how you do these things, you tweet? ... The answer would be no." White said. "He just signed a new contract that he was happy with a month ago."
And that was that. Until today.
MMAFighting.com spoke to Diaz Tuesday afternoon. Here's what he had to say about his current relationship with the UFC:
"I'm ready to fight but not for some funny money that they're trying to give me. They can let me go or they can let me fight, but let me do something. They know I need to make some money. I feel like they're just trying to keep me on the waiting list. I don't even want to communicate through anybody. If they want to figure out what's going on, we should talk. No one is contacting me. I'm just doing my thing. Training every day. I'm ready to fight tomorrow.
"They need to be about more money. My contract is all f*cked up. I want to be paid like these other fighters. I'm over here getting chump change. At this point, they're paying all my partners and other people I train with are getting real money, and it's too embarrassing for me to even fight again for the money they're paying me. So they can either pay me or let me go. I'm with that.
"I train harder than everybody in the UFC. And then there's boxers out there getting multimillion dollar contracts, and I'm a bigger draw than boxers. It's embarrassing. I think I'm the biggest draw in the lightweight division. I feel like they're trying to weed me out of the top 10. I saw that I went from no. 5 to 6 in the rankings, for some reason. That doesn't make any sense.
"I don't get paid sh*t, and I'm about to tell the world. I didn't like what my brother and my partners got paid. Now that they got a better contract, which still ain't sh*t, it blows what I get out of the water. And they deserve triple what they get. I've been in the UFC for eight years and never turned down a fight. It's not like I'm getting paid 20 bucks an hour and they're getting 50 bucks an hour. I'm getting 20 bucks an hour and they're getting paid 15,000 bucks an hour. They blow me out the water. At this point, I can't even go to lunch with my partners because if we start talking about contracts or our business, I don't have anything but bitter sh*t to say. We're entertaining entertainers. We get Shaq, Justin Bieber and Lil' Jon at the show. How are we entertaining billionaires and we can't even get sh*t?
"My partners still make sh*t money for what the company is bringing in. They're happy because they're not getting paid what they used to get paid, so they get little chunks to shut up. As far as I'm concerned, I don't get paid sh*t. I get $60,000 (to show) and $60,000 (to win). If I were doing this for the fame, I would have quit seven years ago. I can't tell you what my brother and Gil make, but I can tell you that they signed a contract for more than I get paid to headline and win a fight, and that's bullsh*t. So you understand where I'm coming from? I can't even fight for the money they're offering me. So I ask to get released because I can't fight there for that.
"I don't talk to the UFC. No one calls me. I'm not going to call them begging. They know I'm on call, I take every fight. They know what they should be giving out.
"When I signed my last contract, they conned me into signing an eight-fight contract to fight [Benson] Henderson. I was negotiating my contract three weeks out from the fight. [My manager] Mike [Kogan] came in and got me a little bit of a raise -- a little -- they act like they hooked me up. They didn't do sh*t. They gave me a little something to shut me up for a minute. [They] got me to sign the contract, but the way they got me to sign the contract was like, Just trust me, sign the contract, and we can renegotiate anytime. I was like, I'll just fight a couple of fights and then talk some sh*t because I don't like this contract. So I'll renegotiate in a couple of fights because they told me I could do that. Then they called me to take the Khabib [Nurmagomedov] fight when it wasn't working out for them and Gil [Melendez]. They were trying to lowball Gil, too, and he was supposed to fight Khabib, but he said he couldn't take the fight for the money they were offering. So they call me the next day and ask me to fight Khabib. I said, I'll take the fight as long as I can renegotiate my contract. And then it was all downhill from there. Then they tweeted out that I turned down the fight, and I never turned down the fight. They tried to do me dirty.
"If I can get released, I can go fight somewhere and make some money. If they can renegotiate, I can make some money, because right now I'm broke. For some reason, the IRS is telling me that I owe them more money than I have right now, and I pay my taxes every year.
"At this point, they're having a fat-ass party with others getting paid and they're letting me see it. Before, I had no argument because I didn't really know. But now they're letting me see the party and letting me in. So now that I know for sure, I'm going to talk. If everybody would start speaking up and quit keeping their mouths shut, people would start getting paid. We're working for a billion-dollar company. It's ridiculous. I go to boxing events where they pay the fighters so much money and those boxing events aren't even half the shows that the UFC is.
"The crazy thing to me is that in what other professional sport do the cheerleaders make more than the athletes? I'm sure Arianny Celeste, Brittney Palmer, Joe Rogan, Bruce Buffer, probably you, everybody makes more money than I do. So I'm trying to make a move here. The way that the UFC makes me look, too, makes people I know believe that I'm some type of millionaire. I got a family to feed. I got my mom. She just got a brand new house and working two jobs still. I'm trying to break her off some money when I can but I'm going as broke as her.
"There's a lot more money that needs to be dished out because it's coming in, and I know it."
Following our conversation, MMAFighting.com reached out to White for a response.
"Nate Diaz came in and signed a new deal and was very happy with his new deal. We gave him a shot at the title and he lost to Benson Henderson. If he would have won, obviously his deal would have changed if he became champion, which he did not. Then he got stopped by Thomson. Thomson finished him.
"Now he comes off a win over Gray Maynard and feels like he should be making Justin Bieber money. Nate needs to get back in there and start fighting, win fights again and earn a title shot again.
"Guess how much money he makes sitting at home? Zero. Get back to work, Nate.
"He was happy as can be when he signed his new deal. Go back and look at my twitter after he signed the new deal. I tweeted it. He was happy. We've done everything to honor the contract. I've always been good to Diaz. This is the kind of craziness you see with athletes. They end up spinning off and don't make the money they should have made. Nate Diaz has what it takes to be champion or he doesn't, but I'll tell you, there's only one way to find out. He has to come back and fight. He thinks he loses to two of the best guys in the world and deserves more money? In what f*cking planet does that make sense?"Fu Hung Hsieh remains Fu Hung Hsieh and Kung-tzu Yu remains Kung-tzu Yu.