On Monday, Nate Diaz was ranked sixth in the official UFC lightweight rankings. On Tuesday, he was removed from the rankings altogether despite having knocked out Gray Maynard, who is ranked eighth, in his last outing on Nov. 30, 2013.
UFC president Dana White appeared on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight and explained why Diaz is no longer among the UFC’s official top 15 rankings.
“Everybody is talking about Nate Diaz being removed. So was T.J. Gant. T.J. Grant was removed too for inactivity,” explained White. “Early on, we’d let Dominick (Cruz) hold the title and stay in the rankings as long as we did. It’s unfair to the guys who are active.
“Nate Diaz is in this position where he’s turning down fights, hasn’t accepted any fights, and has been inactive. We don’t know how long he’s going to be inactive, so take him off the rankings. When he comes in and fights his next fight they’ll rank him again after his fight,” added the UFC president.
Removing fighters from the rankings due to inactivity is a new policy, but hasn’t been implemented with consistency. Dominick Cruz is ranked in the top 15 in the bantamweight division, but hasn’t fought since October 2011. On the surface, it appears Diaz’s removal may have more to do with his standing within the organization than his standing in the 155-pound division.
“You saw what has happened on Twitter and all these things. He wants to be released. He wants more money. He wants all this stuff,” said White. “He just signed a new contract. He’s under a new contract right now. And we offer him fights. He said he doesn’t turn down the fights because nobody responds. Just because you don’t respond doesn’t mean you didn’t turn down the fight. Not responding means you turned it down.
“I don’t know how long we’re going to play this game. But there’s no sense in hurting the other fighters that are staying active and working their way up in the rankings for a guy who is inactive and we don’t know when he’s going to fight again.”
Diaz is still under UFC contract. He’s still one of the top lightweights in the world. He just isn’t ranked as one.