Joe Rogan believes the UFC is finally realizing how big of a draw Nate Diaz is.
The UFC commentator discussed Diaz, who recently returned from a three-year break with a unanimous decision win over Anthony Pettis, with his latest podcast guest, retired boxer Andre Ward. Ward has trained previously with both Nate and his older brother Nick.
Both Rogan and Ward agreed the younger Diaz bro is far more popular than the UFC previously gave him credit for previously — even at the height of his rivalry with Conor McGregor.
“I’m just happy that the UFC is finally recognizing the love and support [Diaz] has from the fans,” Rogan said. “For whatever reason, they were so high on Conor McGregor and these other people that they didn’t see [it]. One of the reasons that the Conor fight was so big was because of Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz is a f**ing star. When they put is face on the screen for the Pettis fight, the arena erupted. It was chaos. They went nuts.”
Andre Ward agreed whole-heartedly Joe Rogan, and speculated that the UFC might have tapered its promotion of Diaz because of his tendency to speak his mind — oftentimes to the detriment of the company.
“I don’t know why they didn’t see it,” the boxer said of Diaz. “Conor was a little bit different, and he brought what he brought to the table, but it probably would have been a good thing to balance them both out. Show love to Nate. But he was like rebel child, he said what ever was on his mind. The powers that be, they don’t like that.”
From there, Joe Rogan added that the UFC’s previous failure to recognize Nate Diaz as a star could be partly attributed the fact that he was overshadowed by his brother Nick.
“I think he was a little overshadowed by his brother, too,” Rogan said. “His brother, when he was fighting in Strikeforce in particular, was one of the best fighters in the world. He was just amazing. During his title reign, when he was at his peak and fighting in Strikeforce […] Nate just flew under the radar.”
What do you think of these comments from Joe Rogan and Andre Ward? Is the UFC finally recognizing the value of Nate Diaz?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/4/2019.