In 2014, UFC President Dana White said Nate Diaz was not a draw in the UFC. “He’s under contract and when he’s ready to fight he can fight,” White said regarding contract issues with Nate Diaz. “The kid makes good money. The kid makes really good money. And the unfortunate part is, he’s not a needle mover. His brother (Nick Diaz) is a needle mover, he’s not.”
The younger Diaz proved that to be wrong at UFC 196. With just ten days notice, Nate Diaz stepped in to fight UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor in an exciting non-title welterweight bout. White claimed after the fight that it was the most bought UFC PPV event in the company’s history.
Diaz spoke with MMA Junkie on White’s past statement coming off the big win over McGregor.
“I knew that I brought the numbers,” Diaz told MMAjunkie. “When I fought on FOX it was like 3, 4, 5 million viewers every time I fight and headline these FOX shows. That’s where my argument was in the first place. I was like, ‘I see what’s going on here.’ So when I said they were trying to hold me back and trying to say that I wasn’t moving the needles or whatever, I already knew that. I knew the pay-per-view numbers were going to be huge.
“My point was proven. He brings a big following and he’s got good numbers, too, but that’s why I was saying after my fight with (Michael) Johnson, I was like, ‘You want to see a fight?’ No one pays attention. That’s why I had to demand that (expletive) and express it and come off the way I did, so I could try to get a fight. Now they can’t deny it, the whole needle-moving thing.”
Diaz said he is still unsure about how things will pan out for him now that he has shown the numbers don’t lie.
“Who knows (if I’ll get the push)?” Diaz said. “They’re promoting him already more off this fight than they are with me. It just happened, so we’ll see what happens in the next fight.”