In an interview Tuesday with ESPN ahead of UFC 279, Diaz revealed an alleged near-altercation that unfolded between him and the UFC president dating back to 2014. Diaz laughed about the story and said he “almost beat up” White during the alleged incident.
When asked about Diaz’s claims on Tuesday night, White couldn’t help but laugh as well.
“Allegedly,” responded a smiling White. “Allegedly. We were drinking.”
“Does anybody else have any other questions?” White added with a chuckle when pressed on the subject.
Diaz, 37, is set to headline UFC 279 on Saturday in a non-title welterweight affair against Khamzat Chimaev, which takes place in Las Vegas. It’s the final fight of Diaz’s UFC contract, which means that Diaz’s 15-year run with the promotion will likely soon come to an end.
Speaking Tuesday, White reflected fondly on the UFC’s time with the Diaz brothers, Nate and Nick, two superstars who have always marched to the beat of their own drum. He called Nate Diaz a “legend” for the UFC and wished him well in his future endeavors if UFC 279 ultimately marks the end of their time together.
Even if things may have gotten a bit heated back in 2014.
“I almost beat up Dana White in a club one time here too, you should’ve seen it,” Diaz told ESPN with a laugh. “He was talking s***. ... You should ask him. He was talking s*** and I was arguing with him. I was mad at him — I shouldn’t have been mad at him, I understand.
“It was a long time ago, when Gilbert [Melendez] did The Ultimate Fighter . ... Everybody had gotten off the show and then we went to the club when Dana and them were having a big afterparty, and then Dana’s all [intoxicated]. He’s all, ‘What’s up, motherf*****?’
“I was like, what’s up? And he’s telling me about, ‘What do you want?’ I was like, ‘What the f*** do you think I want? More money and more f****** better fights than everyone here.’ It’s because I was never on the destination [path] for a title though, at the time.”
Diaz was in a much different place in his life and career back in 2014. It was before his breakout win over Conor McGregor, and the fan favorite was instead stuck on a miserable contract that saw him earn just $16,000 for a loss to eventual champion Rafael dos Anjos.
That loss was ultimately a turning point in Diaz’s UFC career. His next two fights were wins over Michael Johnson followed by his legendary upset of McGregor, and from that point on, Diaz was cemented as one of the biggest stars the UFC has ever produced.
So even though Diaz may be disgruntled with the promotion ahead of his swan song against Chimaev at UFC 279, he holds no ill will against White.
“I’m on Dana White’s side too, it’s all good but I understand business. It’s all good with me,” Diaz said. “Me and Dana always got along with everything too.”