Several weeks have passed since Nate Diaz revealed that he was likely going to turn down a July 8 fight against Tony Ferguson for UFC 213. The match-up would have served as the centerpiece for this year’s International Fight Week, but Diaz dismissed it for numerous reasons, citing failed negotiations with the UFC, a disinterest in helping manager Audie Attar — who manages both Ferguson and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor — and a belief that Ferguson was forcing a beef that didn’t exist simply because he was told it would pressure Diaz into accepting the fight.
Ferguson finally responded to those claims during a Monday appearance on The MMA Hour, expressing frustration at Diaz’s refusal to accept the fight and belittling Diaz for opting to spend his time focusing on triathlon season rather than making big fights happen in the UFC.
“Little b*tch,” Ferguson said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I don’t know. I don’t know what his problem is, dude. Like, I understand that you want to say like, ‘McGregor, I’m not going to do your dirty work.’ Dude, I don’t want to go into name-calling, I don’t have to do that, but I’m talking about if you’re a fighter and you’re in this organization and you say that you’d rather go and ride a bicycle, you’ve got better things to do, that’s cute. That’s real cute.
“I might as well Stockton Slap the sh*t outta you. Really? I’m from the 805, man. I don’t have to talk about where I’m from, but I’m tough. I’m a hell of a lot tougher than that dude, because money never made me soft. And sh*t, even if it made me soft, I wouldn’t forget where I came from. Because you know what? You’ve got a place to represent — like you said ‘represent.’ You’ve got a man right here that’s calling you out, and you’re not signing on the dotted line? You’re a clown, dude. You’re fake.”
Part of Diaz’s main reasoning for not accepting the Ferguson fight was a belief that he was simply being used as a pawn by Attar to increase Ferguson’s profile and set up bigger fights down the road for both Ferguson and fellow Attar client, McGregor. Diaz claimed Ferguson and McGregor were “working together” against him and told them to kindly “f*ck off.” Ferguson, though, bristled at Diaz’s way of thinking.
“He smokes a lot of good weed, I guess, because he’s got a lot of time on his hands just to do that,” Ferguson said. “The dude’s delusional, man. Obviously I’m not in cahoots with McGregor. If you think that I am, then you’re f*cking high as f*ck. Straight up, he’s smoking that wacky tobacky, because I’m not. I don’t like the dude (McGregor). I don’t like how, obviously, things are playing with my management, but you know what? I’m professional, so this is where we’re at.
“Nobody’s telling me to fight this dude (Diaz). What I’m looking at is, look, this guy was the last person that fought the guy that I want to get to. Man, he actually beat him. I’m like, look, anybody else that’s on the roster right now, I f*cking murked. They were like butter through my elbows. I worked right through them. I cut them up, I sliced them up, and I served them on a platter back to Dana with a bonus coming my way.
“I’m not talking about being fair,” Ferguson added. “Let’s talk about making that money. Let’s talk about fighting this summer, about impressing the crowd, throwing snap-jitsu on that mat and putting somebody else to snap-down city. I’m tried of D’arce, D’arce, D’arcing people, but if I have to D’arce somebody else up, the D’arce Knight will return.”
Ferguson, the assumed No. 1 contender in the UFC’s lightweight division, has not fought since a Nov. 2016 shellacking of former UFC champion Rafael dos Anjos, although not for a lack of trying.
With McGregor off pursuing a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, “El Cucuy” was slated to meet Khabib Nurmagomedov in a highly-anticipated interim title fight at UFC 209. That fight, however, imploded when Nurmagomedov was transported to the hospital on the day of weigh-ins. The UFC offered Ferguson a replacement fight against Michael Johnson on 24-hour’s notice, but Ferguson would have been forced to take a dramatic pay cut. He ultimately declined and has not competed since.
But Ferguson said he still wants to fight in the summer, and after listening to Diaz’s hour-long interview, he can’t believe the lengths he’s having to go to just to land a fight he feels should be a obvious.
“I had a hard time hearing him,” Ferguson said of Diaz. “He needs to hire an enunciation coach. He needs to use some of that money to get a grammar or speech coach or something, you know? Either the weed’s getting to him or he’s getting too punchy. Obviously he can’t slip too many punches if he can’t really talk too much.
“Obviously I already know I’d beat him already, but if he wants to go that route, we want to put it inside that Octagon, let’s make that paper talk. Let’s go. Let’s make that money, dude. You want to go? I’m a hell of a lot better than you. You try to Stockton Slap me — whatever you f*cking call it — dude, I will hit you with my jab so hard you’ll f*cking knock your teeth out.
“I mean, there’s not too much I have to say to pick him apart,” Ferguson added. “The dude is a good easy target, but I think that obviously if he says how interested he is in training for a good fight, let’s go. If he wants to put all that effort towards a triathlon or something like that, put that effort and everything else towards something that you’re actually in, that you’re ranked in, in the world actually. Put in that effort. Act interested. If not, like I said, get the f*ck out.
“You consider yourself gangster? You’re backing down from a fight. Let’s go, dude. We got a main event that’s open that needs to be filled. So if you want to make some money, you want to impress the fans, you want to get back out there and sell your weed, do your sh*t, that’s fine, man. Put your name back in the crowd. Let’s do this sh*t, man. Sign on the dotted line. Let’s go, kid.”