Dana White Says Nate Diaz Doesn’t Want to Fight; Diaz’s Manager Says White ‘Makes No Sense’

May 23, 2014
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Nate Diaz and Dana WhiteThe UFC president sat surrounded by the typical video cameras, audio recorders and eager reporters who wait to write down his quotes. As is the norm with Dana White’s pre-fight media scrum, he controlled the floor.

White touched on all points asked by the surrounding crowd, giving his typical we’ll-see-what-happens response and, of course, his take on the great (silly?) Floyd-Mayweather-versus-Ronda-Rousey debate.

It’s during this time that White reels off comments that get picked up by everyone that covers mixed martial arts. He talks fights, but he also talks about who’s not fighting, which is what White said UFC lightweight Nate Diaz is doing.

“You don’t want to fight? OK, don’t fight,” White said on Thursday in Las Vegas. “Nate Diaz doesn’t look he’ll be fighting any time soon.”

White repeated that Diaz has been offered bouts in the Octagon, but the fighter has repeatedly told the executive that he’s not interested. The rejections strike White as indications that the fighter doesn’t want to fight at all.

Nate’s manager, Mike Kogan, refuted White’s claim that his client isn’t interested in fighting.

“We asked for Brown; he said it makes no sense. But to me what he said makes no sense,” Kogan told MMAWeekly.com, in response to White’s comments. “I can’t match-make, but don’t say we don’t want to fight. [We] just don’t want to fight people they want us to fight.”

The UFC recently took Diaz off the official 155-pound rankings due to inactivity. The removal from the list struck most as an emotional reaction to Diaz and his public criticisms of the UFC and its contract with him.

White defended his position and proclaimed that Diaz’s removal from the rankings was not done in retribution. Contrarily, the UFC boss said he likes Diaz, but he won’t allow a fighter who has lost two of his last three fights to jump over other fighters on the roster.

“I don’t dislike Nate Diaz. Never have. I can’t see a situation where I ever will,” White said. “It’s just the guy doesn’t want to fight. How’s it any skin off my back if he doesn’t want a fight? It doesn’t matter. We got tons of guys that do want to fight. When Nate Diaz is ready to fight, he’ll let me know.

“You won one fight in your last three fights. You don’t just jump in and take a title shot, especially with all these guys. I know the Diaz brothers are fun. I like watching them fight too. I like all the same things you and the fans like about the Diaz brothers, but they can’t just jump in whenever they want to and jump over all these other guys that are active all the time.”

Kogan called shenanigans.

The manager pointed to several moments in the past where fighters were given opportunities in big money UFC fights, regardless of where they were in the official ranking system.

With the inconsistency the UFC has shown in previous matchmaking, Kogan doesn’t see why Diaz shouldn’t be offered a fight the caliber of Brown, for instance.

“Nate was ranked fifth in the world well before he got taken off, but that doesn’t change anything,” Kogan exclaimed. “There are too many fights that get made that make no sense at all, but they still get made and sold to the fans. Why not this one? You telling me fans don’t want see Nate versus Brown?

[Anthony] Johnson just went from being on WSOF to ranked fifth. Skipped a bunch wouldn’t you say?  Chael [Sonnen] jumped over the whole top 10 at 205 right into a title fight. [Josh] Thomson wasn’t ranked, fights Nate and gets ranked fourth, and is 2-2 in his last four fights. Should I keep going?”

Kogan added that the rankings do little beyond adding flavor to broadcasts, and those “on the in” shouldn’t put too much stock into them.

White established the ranking system so the media could place fighters where they feel they should be ranked in the UFC, a process that the president has hammered reporters about time and time again. And no matter where reporters rank fighters, White has made it clear that he and UFC matchmakers will pair who they feel works best for the promotion.

In the end, it appears White will decide where Diaz will land for his next fight, and not the other way around. Diaz may want to pick his fights, but White will remain perched on his media scrum stage, taking each of the fighter’s rejections as a desire not to compete.

As Kogan explained, the control is all White’s.

“It’s their world and we just live in it,” he said.

(Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter)

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  • taylor2008

    I saw what the UFC was throwing Nate. Nate just didnt want to take them. He wants to pick anc choose. Thats not how it works. Nates manager is full of BS.

    • Raymo

      But his manager has a point; the UFC and Dana white are highly inconsistent when it comes to their matchmaking. The rankings are also highly inconsistent. I wish that the Diaz brothers would get back in the ring so we wont have to watch these boring ass wrestlers pretend to be fighters.

      • brady

        why can’t more people be level headed like you?

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Nate needs to take notes from Cowboy.

    • lowlb

      Why would he take a note from a guy he beat down?
      I hear what your saying.. I think the Diaz bros
      want to maintain their health long term and make as
      Much $$ as possible.. It just makes sense.. Save your health and make as much as possible. The UFC doesn’t have retirement plan for its fighters. Starting a new career
      At 38 isn’t easy when you have no experience.

  • truth

    this kogan guy seems like a complete f—ing idiot. He cites ufc’s track record as if Nate falls into the category of a personality worth skipping a ‘few’ rankings or as being part of a intriguing matchup people want to see making it worth pushing forward. The problem is he isn’t either and on top of that he’s just become another inactive loud mouth diaz who obviously is just trying to slip his way into as many big money fights as he can with no love or respect for the sport or rankings. f—ing pathetic…. what’s truly tragic and sad about all of this is I used to be a legitimate 100% big time diaz brothers fan… ugh im beyond disappointed.

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    Dont blame Nate, they probably want him to fight unknown and build them up on his way out the door. Nate asked to be left out of his contract so he CAN fight, Danas full of it

    • shakejunt

      … or they probably just want him to fight someone in his weightclass.

  • Adagal

    Dana is absolutely right. Matt Brown is on a tear and as much as I like Nate’s (and Nick’s) style, he is not in line for that fight whatsoever. 1 win in 3 fights doesn’t give you the right to demand who you fight. He’s also gone 1-1 since losing his title fight vs Bendo. The Diaz boys are delusional and only hurting themselves by turning down fight after fight. I’m surprised Dana is still offering to them, he should send them to Bellator to fight guys casual fans have never heard of. Bringing up Chael, etc, is funny, i think the guys a douche but at the end of the day he will fight anyone, anytime and that is something the Diaz bro’s cannot say about themselves. Let’s remember Nick recently said he won’t fight for less than 500K!!

  • Teddy B

    first off dana white does not make the matches, joe silva does, secondly as for the sonnen comment, he got the title shot because no one wanted to fight jones on a short training camp and sonnen was the only person that stepped up, secondly he sells fights, nick nor nate does not have the ppv power of a sonnen or silva or gsp, in the end its a business, and the diaz brothers need to stop crying foul.
    every fighter complains about money, the real money comes from sponsors, make yourself more marketable and you will make more money and fans will want to see you fight, then you will get a title shot. the real essence of martial arts is not proving your greatness by holding a trophy, its to live, and compete with honor regardless of the outcome. the man that stands across from you is not always your enemy , the one at your side is not always your friend.
    do what you get paid to do and be grateful that you have a job that allows you some comforts in life.

    • George Sperry

      Didn’t the UFC take over sponsor money?

    • truth

      been a close friend to sam stout for a long time, he has more fights then 97% of anyone other fighter in the UFC and he will be the first to tell you it was UFC money that was a majority of his income not sponsors.

  • peeter mans

    Sure Dana. Hypocritical to say they haven’t earned a title shot when mediocre fighters like Chael Sonnen, Koscheck(the eye poker) have had more than one shot at the title. Bottom line is White never had any respect for his fighters…

    • shakejunt

      that’s cute

    • Mark McDowall

      Explain how either of the Diaz brothers have earned a shot…

      Nate-4-4 in his last 8 fights…a constant pain in the ass…beaten handily by the top guys in the division/s.

      Nick-1-2 since coming back to the UFC…with a drug suspension and a fight pulled because he was a dumbass thrown in.

  • Brian

    UFC doesn’t owe the Diaz brothers anything.

    • peeter mans

      The Diaz brothers owe the UFC nothing..its their blood and sweat they brought to the cage every time.

  • Joe

    Nate has stated that he wants out of his contract, he wants to go elsewhere and fight for real money. With that in mind I think that the UFC would be crazy to give him a fight that could potentially put him in line for a title shot. Nate and his managers best option to get what they want is to take every fight the UFC puts in front of them and finish out the contract. If they truly believe the fights being offered are with undeserving fighters, then it should be easy to pick up win bonuses and performance bonuses, and when your contract is finished you are worth more to other orgs. However if he continues to lose more than he wins, his pay days will drop with his next contract, no matter the org.

    Another option to get more money if he really believes he is so great is to offer to renegotiate his contract with a cut in show money and a higher win bonus, I think a high risk high reward contract is the only way Nate gets the kind of fights he wants, as well as the money he wants, but then he has to win them.

    • TheCerealKiller

      Wow, really well said.

  • shakejunt

    we wanna fight, just not anyone that could beat us.

    • Mark McDowall

      And they want to get paid many times what they are worth for that BS fight!


    Dana Don King White

  • Mark McDowall

    Talking about the Diaz’s is about as pointless as Dana talking about Rousey fighting Mayweather.

  • dandogood

    Josh Thompson beat and bloodied and Ko’d recently Nate Diaz in a severe brutal loss of the nate not great Diaz son of Satan.

  • dandogood

    Nate Diaz brain surgeon.

  • TheCerealKiller

    Who cares? They are not champion level fighters! Let them both sit on the shelf for the rest of their careers. Nate had a chance to fight Khabib and turned it down… because he’s a giant pussy.