Nate Diaz Claims UFC Thinks His Victory Over Conor McGregor Was An ‘Accident’
The hotly-anticipated rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor is now official for UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas. But Diaz is still angry about being marginalized by the UFC, as he claims the company is doing its best to protect McGregor as a top draw.
“I swear to God, the UFC thinks it was an accident or something,” Diaz said in an interview with ESPN. “They think it was an accident, and now they’re saying, ‘Let’s get Nate back in there and take him out before he gets any bigger.’ I don’t think so. I’ve fought everyone in the UFC, and they better give me some motherf***ing compliments if I win this fight.'”
UFC President Dana White has been vocal about how obsessed McGregor has been about avenging his loss at UFC 196, where Diaz caught him in a rear-naked choke in the second round. That “obsession” has been all-consuming in the past month, so much so that Diaz has essentially called out UFC for catering to McGregor in ways they haven’t towards other fighters, noting that this fight is basically a “gift” to McGregor, courtesy of the UFC.
“Since that last fight, have you heard any praise for me from Dana or the UFC? None at all,” Diaz continued. “How much praise has that motherf***er got? I’ve never lost a fight and not wanted to fight the guy 10 minutes later. The UFC is pumping him up again, saying he wants to redeem himself and giving him all this credit for it. It’s like, dude, I’ve been obsessed with every fight I’ve ever lost. This is a gift for him to get it right away. He’s saying he’s obsessed? Welcome to my life, motherf***er. That’s the game, and I’ve never gotten my losses back.”
Because current featherweight champion McGregor wanted the rematch as soon as possible, UFC had to put off a rumored featherweight title fight defense against Frankie Edgar. Now, Edgar will take on former featherweight champ Jose Aldo for the interim title, with the winner getting a shot against McGregor at a later date. But McGregor isn’t even thinking about the featherweight title right now, as he’s training to fight Diaz at 170 lbs., with the idea being that the only way to truly avenge his defeat is to achieve victory against Diaz in the same conditions as the first fight. If nothing else, Diaz can appreciate McGregor’s
“He knows that if he goes in and changes circumstances, then that’s weak,” Diaz said. “It’s not cool to go in and make your own set of rules because you lost on another set. If you’re going to avenge your loss, you’ve gotta go out and avenge it for real. It’s like a guy saying, ‘Let’s fight again, but no takedowns.’ That’s weak, and he knows that.”
But even though he’s beaten McGregor before, Diaz isn’t taking this fight lightly.
“I think I can beat every fighter from my weight up to heavyweight,” Diaz added. “I really do feel like I’m better than everyone, but I feel like if I don’t go in there and do what I’m supposed to do, you can f*** up and lose to anyone. So even a guy I just beat, I need to make sure I prepare and get the job done. Kill or be killed. There’s a lot of pressure in this sport. I need to go in and make s*** happen my way.”
Well, Diaz certainly has confidence and work ethic. And judging by how he handled McGregor at UFC 196, he has the skills to back up all the talk. But can he repeat? If anything, UFC seems to be banking on McGregor getting his win back, if only because it means they could push a third fight between the two to settle the score once and for all. But beyond that, UFC is clearly going to want their cash cow to continue to be dominant, since a second loss to Diaz might hurt his drawing ability. That said, everyone loves a good comeback story, so who’s to say McGregor would even take that big of a hit to his rep if he loses again? After all, he’d still be featherweight champion, and would have a major fight to take in the late fall or early winter, perhaps at the first UFC pay-per-view in New York later this year. Ultimately, I think McGregor will be fine either way. This could cement Diaz as a HUGE star in UFC though, despite the notion that the first fight really should have accomplished that. Either way, I’m anxious to see this fight, even while I was kind of itching to see Frankie Edgar get a shot. Should be a hell of a July.
But what do you think about what Diaz is saying about McGregor and the UFC? Sound off in the comments!
And for more UFC news, read up on the full card so far for UFC 200!