It’s a contract that he was admittedly was unhappy about when he signed it, which was just prior to his shot at Benson Henderson for the UFC lightweight championship.
“I signed it, very unhappily, and I went into the (Henderson) fight and I lost,” said Diaz on a recent edition of Chael Sonnen’s Your Welcome! podcast. “So what am I going to do? I wasn’t going to go cry for more money now that I just lost.”
He then went on to lose to Josh Thomson before rebounding with a Knockout of the Night performance against Gray Maynard. After the knockout, the UFC came calling, asking Diaz to step in to face Khabib Nurmagomedov when teammate Gilbert Melendez opted out of the fight due to contract negotiations.
According to Diaz, contract negotiations were something that UFC president Dana White told him could happen at any point if ever he wasn’t happy. So, seeing that the UFC needed him to step up, and seeing that he had just knocked out a former lightweight title contender, and seeing that he was still unhappy with his contract, Diaz opted to take White up on his prior offer.
That didn’t go so well.
“I said, ‘I’ll fight him, but can I renegotiate?’ Then they blew me up all over the social media and said I turned down the fight. I never turned down any fight ever in my entire life.
“I felt like it was a favor. ‘I’ll fight the guy, (but) can I renegotiate since you told me I could already do that?’” he continued. “They could have simply said, ‘No.’ And then I would have gone and fought the (expletive). But instead, I read it all over the Internet.”
Of course it bothered Diaz. He feels like he’s been taken advantage of for the better part of his career, and this was just the latest instance.
“I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of for a lot of years. I kind of grew up in this, and I didn’t understand or know what was what with money and contracts,” said Diaz. But then he woke up one day and saw the like, saying he came to the realization that he’s been “underappreciated, underpaid, under-all-kinds-of-(expletive).”
But at the end of the day, he decided it was time to move on. So now, Diaz is headed back to the Octagon to fight Rafael dos Anjos on Dec. 13 at UFC on FOX 13 in Phoenix.
“It was a whole mess going on,” Diaz said about the end of his standoff with the UFC. “But everything got cleared, up and I’m ready to get back to work and do my thing.”