By Evan Stoumbelis
The Diaz brothers have continued to keep their name relevant in the MMA world, despite the fact that they have not fought this year. Recently the UFC removed Nate Diaz from its official rankings, which some saw as a form of revenge. However that is not the case according to UFC President Dana White, who spoke to media members today in preparation for UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw.
“When we talk about this, it’s not like baseball, where it’s been around for 100 years. This is all new s–t. We just started doing the rankings less than a year ago, so all this stuff a work in progress. In no way was it a retribution to Nate Diaz.”
“I said it to you guys 50,000 times – if Nate Diaz doesn’t want to fight for the next three years, he doesn’t have to fight. You can’t force a guy to fight. He came in, signed the contract, and was happy about his contract. But it’s always the same thing with the Diaz brothers – ‘I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t know anything about anything,’ and ‘I don’t know how to do this and I don’t know how to do that.’ OK. Nick is, what, 31, 32 (years old)? And Nate’s a couple years younger than him? What do you do? They’re grown men.”
“But Nick is retired. He’s made it very clear that he’s retired. But [the Brown offer] was me responding to Nate saying, ‘I want to fight Matt Brown.’”
“We kept offering Nick Diaz fights, and Nick said, ‘I’m retired; I don’t want to fight.’ When he’s ready to fight, he’ll let me know. That’s what everybody doesn’t understand – you don’t want to fight, OK, don’t fight. But you can’t take up a top-10 ranking if you’re not fighting.”
One thing the Diaz brothers have remained steadfast in is their desire to fight for a title. Both brothers have said they will return for the right money, or for a title shot. To that, Dana had the following to say:
“But they want to jump in strategically (and say), I’ll take this fight, or I’ll take a fight at 170, or I’ll take a title shot, give me a title shot. You won one fight in your last three fights. You don’t just jump in and take a title shot. I know the Diaz brothers are fun – I like watching them fight, too. I like watching them do their thing; I like all the things that you and the fans like about the Diaz brothers. But they can’t just jump in whenever they want to and jump over all these other guys that are active and fighting all the time.”