Nate Diaz Has A Point – Is Asking The UFC For A Raise Wrong?
Rod Tidwell is a fictional NFL player from the movie “Jerry Maguire.”
In the film, Tidwell, played by Cuba Gooding, Jr., has one of the more iconic moments in the history of sports movies when he screams into a phone, “Show me the money!”
On the other end of the line is Tom Cruise, who is the lead in the film.
Now, flash-forward several years and we are seeing our own MMA version of the movie played out in real life by Nate Diaz and Dana White.
Diaz finally broke his silence in a recent interview where he pretty much threw the promotion he works for – and White – under the bus. The fiery fighter feels he was told untrue promises while negotiating a new contract prior to a loss to then-UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
Who’s right? Diaz or White? It’s likely a little bit of both, but the more pressing matter is this:
Do fighters have a point in standing their ground and demanding as much money as possible?
You see it all the time in other pro sports leagues when prime-time players sit out and demand a new contract, a new re-worked contract, more money, more control and so on and so forth.
Is Diaz among the elite in terms of record and titles? Not really. But, as his latest remarks have proven, he is talked about. And that might be enough for him to get what he wants.
Diaz is just 28 years old, which is not an old age for MMA fighters, but is when you consider his 26 bouts and 10 years of the wars on his body. Maybe the Stockton native has a handful of years left – maybe more.
Since 2007, he has called the Octagon home, winning the season five title of The Ultimate Fighter. Diaz has faced the likes of Clay Guida, Melvin Guillard, Gray Maynard, Rory MacDonald, Donald Cerrone, Jim Miller, Henderson and Josh Thomson during his run, working his way through two divisions and to the aforementioned title shot.
Playing the side of White, you can see where he has no interest in negotiating a new deal with Diaz. Sure, he’s coming off an impressive win over Maynard, but prior to that he lost to both Thomson and Henderson. Why, if you have him signed to a deal, would you offer him more money?
But Diaz sees it differently. He is “striking while the iron is hot.” The UFC has been losing key fighters left and right, seeing pay-per-view draws like Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz step aside either by choice or injury. They need marquee names and, love him or hate him, Diaz gets people talking, interested and enjoying his wars.
One would have to believe that these two sides are going to work something out. White and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta love guys that “bang,” and Diaz does just that. Expect to see Diaz mean-mugging for the camera inside the Octagon in the near future.
By Dana Becker | Twitter