So, UFC lightweight contender Nate Diaz isn’t very happy with his contract. If you couldn’t glean that from his tweet requesting his release from the UFC in February, his first interview since beating Gray Maynard last November made it clear.
“I’m ready to fight but not for some funny money that they’re trying to give me,” Diaz recently told MMA Fighting.
“They can let me go or they can let me fight, but let me do something. They know I need to make some money. I feel like they’re just trying to keep me on the waiting list. I don’t even want to communicate through anybody. If they want to figure out what’s going on, we should talk. No one is contacting me. I’m just doing my thing. Training every day. I’m ready to fight tomorrow.
“They need to be about more money. My contract is all [expletive] up. I want to be paid like these other fighters. I’m over here getting chump change. At this point, they’re paying all my partners and other people I train with are getting real money, and it’s too embarrassing for me to even fight again for the money they’re paying me. So they can either pay me or let me go. I’m with that.
“I train harder than everybody in the UFC. And then there’s boxers out there getting multimillion dollar contracts, and I’m a bigger draw than boxers. It’s embarrassing. I think I’m the biggest draw in the lightweight division. I feel like they’re trying to weed me out of the top 10. I saw that I went from no. 5 to 6 in the rankings, for some reason. That doesn’t make any sense.”
Diaz says that his brother Nick and training partner Gilbert Melendez now make a great deal more money than he does, though he believes that even they don’t get all they deserve from the UFC.
“I don’t get paid [expletive], and I’m about to tell the world. I didn’t like what my brother and my partners got paid. Now that they got a better contract, which still ain’t [expletive], it blows what I get out of the water. And they deserve triple what they get. I’ve been in the UFC for eight years and never turned down a fight. It’s not like I’m getting paid 20 bucks an hour and they’re getting 50 bucks an hour. I’m getting 20 bucks an hour and they’re getting paid 15,000 bucks an hour. They blow me out the water. At this point, I can’t even go to lunch with my partners because if we start talking about contracts or our business, I don’t have anything but bitter [expletive] to say. We’re entertaining entertainers. We get Shaq, Justin Bieber and Lil’ Jon at the show. How are we entertaining billionaires and we can’t even get [expletive]?
“My partners still make [expletive] money for what the company is bringing in. They’re happy because they’re not getting paid what they used to get paid, so they get little chunks to shut up. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t get paid [expletive]. I get $60,000 [to show] and $60,000 [to win]. If I were doing this for the fame, I would have quit seven years ago. I can’t tell you what my brother and Gil make, but I can tell you that they signed a contract for more than I get paid to headline and win a fight, and that’s bull-[expletive]. So you understand where I’m coming from? I can’t even fight for the money they’re offering me. So I ask to get released because I can’t fight there for that.”
Diaz went so far as to say that the UFC “conned” him into signing his last contract. The fighter claimed that he signed that contract with the UFC just weeks before fighting Benson Henderson for the lightweight title, a fight he would go on to lose in a lopsided five-round decision.
After fighting Henderson, Diaz got TKO’d by Josh Thomson, but then rebounded with a nasty KO win over Gray Maynard. Three fights into his new contract, Diaz has had enough of it and wants to renegotiate.
He claimed that the UFC told him that they would renegotiate with him after a couple fights if he just signed that new contract before taking on Henderson. Predictably, UFC president Dana White had a much different message in response to Diaz’s complaints.
“Nate Diaz came in and signed a new deal and was very happy with his new deal. We gave him a shot at the title and he lost to Benson Henderson. If he would have won, obviously his deal would have changed if he became champion, which he did not. Then he got stopped by Thomson. Thomson finished him,” White said.
“Now he comes off a win over Gray Maynard and feels like he should be making Justin Bieber money. Nate needs to get back in there and start fighting, win fights again and earn a title shot again.
“Guess how much money he makes sitting at home? Zero. Get back to work, Nate.”
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