Even before he sat down at the UFC 244 post-fight press conference, Nate Diaz suspected things weren’t going to go his way.
When Diaz heard UFC President Dana White hedge on his rematch with Jorge Masvidal, he readied himself for another fight behind the scenes.
“I would love to run it back,” Diaz told reporters after his loss to Masvidal, which came at the end of the third round when the fight was called off on the advice of the cageside doctor. “That’s the only thing I want to do. That’s my full attention now. But I can already see the f*ckery coming. I know how this game works.
“I give all the rematches and make a name for these people. I believe I was responsible for this whole s*it. I brought the president, straight up. I didn’t see no president going to know title fights. I believe it’s fair. Hopefully, they don’t throw a bunch of money and clout Jorge’s way to be like, ‘Let’s do something else.’”
The way it sounded, something like that was in store for Masvidal. White said the welterweight should expect big things ahead and said he wasn’t interested in an immediate rematch.
Masvidal had immediately talked up a rematch in the wake of the controversial stoppage. Diaz believed his opponent wouldn’t mislead him, but he was wary about shifting circumstances that could arise from the UFC’s plans.
“I hope everybody gets on the same page and we work together,” Diaz said. “Otherwise, it might be a f*ckery three years off again I already can see it coming in the media with this Dana White, ‘I don’t know about that.’ That’s how it starts. I have more fights than anybody in the UFC.”
Diaz has seen how quickly fortunes can change with the right fights. Once a middle-of-the road UFC lightweight, he became a star when he submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 196. He lost on points to the Irish star in a subsequent rematch at UFC 202, and a trilogy failed to materialize when McGregor instead took a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Diaz sat out for three years as he waited for the right opportunity to return.
Diaz agreed to a fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 230, but pulled out because he didn’t like the way he was promoted. He eventually returned in August at UFC 241 and defeated ex-champ Anthony Pettis in a triumphant performance.
UFC 244 marked another breakthrough for both Diaz and Masvidal, who convinced the promotion to create a one-time-only “BMF” title for a major pay-per-view headliner in New York City. Wrestling star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson put the belt on the winner, and President Donald Trump indeed was present for the sold-out event.
”My plan is to tell ‘em all, ‘F*ck you,’ and then we can hopefully we get along soon, and let’s get back at it,” Diaz said. “That’s my plan. You’ve got me kill me in there. I made this whole s*it happen, and I would like for it to happen again. Yeah, f*ck you, with all due respect.”
If the promotion happens to come back with a no, Diaz doesn’t fully commit to another departure. But he won’t go back to fighting middle-of-the-pack fighters.
“Come back at me with some 100 percent (opponents) – don’t play me like you have,” he said. “And this is where it all starts, I can feel it already. So if we’re going to do something else, don’t be telling me I’ve got to fight Joe Blow over here, because I don’t even want to hear that, and then say, ‘We offered him fights.’ I plan on getting along with them. I hope they plan on getting along back.”
Diaz said he came into the fight with a knee injury that prevented him from training properly. As a result, he didn’t push the fight with the same intensity, and Masvidal was able to surge ahead. He felt things shift late in the third, when Masvidal began to initiate clinches, but by then, he was already dealing with a cut.
“The doctor played me,” he said. “He was like, ‘Ah man, I don’t know.’ I was like, ‘Nah, I’m good.’ He goes, ‘Are you good? Can you see out of that eye?’ (I said), ‘Yeah, I’m good.’ And then he goes back to the other guy and says fight’s off. What the f*ck?”
Now, Diaz said, the UFC needs to do him a solid. And Masvidal needs to honor his word.
“If you’re the baddest motherf*cker, are you going to take that as a win?” Diaz said.