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Nate Diaz: Francis Ngannou needs to ask ‘What is Francis Ngannou doing wrong?’ in payday talks

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Nate Diaz
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

To say that the Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul exhibition boxing match had the MMA community talking would be an understatement.

From criticism to praise to sheer amusement, fighters across the spectrum had something to say about the retired boxing legend sharing the ring with the YouTube star, with much of the talk centered around how much money each man was expected to make. Though exact figures are yet to be revealed, Mayweather claimed he made around $30 million just in the lead-up to the fight, and Paul is also expected to cash a check in the eight-figure range.

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou reacted incredulously to the potential paydays, tweeting, “It’s crazy to think that Logan Paul (0-1) just made $20 [million] on a boxing exhibition. What are we doing wrong?”

Ahead of his fight with Leon Edwards at UFC 263 this Saturday at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., Diaz was presented with the same question and he turned it around on Ngannou.

“What is he doing wrong?” Diaz said in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “What is Francis Ngannou doing wrong? I’ve been doing more right than all these motherf**kers for years and years. They should have been spitting all that ‘I need money s**t a long time ago, like I was.

“I was never no champion and I was saying, ‘F**k you, let me get some money cracking,’ and what happened? My stock just raised anyway and nobody was jumping on and now they’re like, ‘What are we doing wrong?’ You should have listened to your daddy years ago motherf**kers, all of you, the whole roster.”

Diaz has been competing for the UFC since 2007 and, as he noted, has never held a world title. However, he has headlined several major events, including two of the highest-selling pay-per-views in the promotion’s history, UFC 196 and UFC 202. Those shows were built around Diaz’s rivalry with superstar Conor McGregor and both men ended up earning one win each.

Three years later, Diaz headlined UFC 244 against Jorge Masvidal in a fight for the “BMF” championship, the creation of which was inspired by a Diaz quote. Next, Diaz meets Edwards in the first-ever UFC fight scheduled for five rounds that is not a main event and not for a title.

Diaz and his brother Nick Diaz have risen from cult figures to mainstream stars, a success story that Nate sees as having a simple formula.

“Just probably that we’re here doing the same thing we’ve been doing the whole time only better and getting better in some type of aspect,” Diaz said. “I feel like I am. It’s not hard to just not be lame. That’s what I think about it.”

Saturday will mark Diaz’s fifth fight in five years, a stretch of inactivity stemming from his sometimes volatile relationship with the UFC and its matchmaking team. Diaz also put the onus on his peers for not signing on to fight him.

“I always want to fight multiple times,” Diaz said. “It’s these motherf**king fighters out here playing dodgeball is the reason why I’m not active. They decide to play like I’m inactive.”