Nate Diaz, who co-headlines UFC on FOX 13 opposite Rafael dos Anjos, was scheduled to be part of yesterday’s open workouts at Phoenix’s U.S. Airways Center.
The 200+ fans who showed up to the open workouts got to witness headliners Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic hit pads, sign autographs and pose for pictures. Diaz’s opponent, Rafael dos Anjos, was there, too.
But Nate never showed up to the event and UFC officials were unable to provide a reason for his absence.
Later that afternoon, Diaz did a series of phone interviews including one with MMAJunkie, where he discussed his no-show:
“I didn’t realize it was time to be there,” Diaz told MMAjunkie. “I woke up and they were calling me, and they said, ‘You kinda missed open workouts.’ I kind of slept in. I wish I could’ve made it, but I didn’t make it in time. I had a list of things (from the UFC), but I got in late and I woke up this morning and I looked at it.”
Many fans and media thought that Diaz’s no-show was a way of him ‘sticking it’ to his bosses, but Nate insisted that was not the case:
“I think we’re fine right now,” Diaz said regarding his relationship with the UFC. “It’s what I’ve got to do. I’ve got a fight; I’m obligated. (I didn’t have to re-sign), but I did. And I’ve got to fight this guy. I had no money to eat. My brother’s got to do his thing, I’ve got to do my thing. So it’s time to fight. It’s time to get back at it and time to get some money in my pocket. (Dos Anjos is) the No. 3 guy, so I might as well fight him and see what happens.”
Nate Diaz hasn’t fought since a November 2013 TKO win over former lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard.
UFC President Dana White has gone on record saying that the promotion had offered Nate fights throughout the last year (Myles Jury and Khabib Nurmagomedov), but that each time Diaz had turned down the bouts.
Nate didn’t agree with Dana’s notion:
“I wasn’t holding out – they just didn’t give me fights,” he said. “They bashed me in public saying I turned down fights, but I never did. A fight never got put together. Now there is one, so that’s my situation. … I never turned down any fight. I never turned down any of them. None of those fights were offered to me. Ever. They’re making it up. They’re blasting it on the Internet, and that’s what people believe.”
Nate was also asked to comment about the tweet he sent out after the UFC announced their new uniform deal with Reebok. The tweet, which came from his official twitter account, read “Here’s for your b—hass uniforms” and included a meme with clipart of a suited man hoisting a middle finger. The meme said “F—k you” in all caps. Diaz had a simple explanation for the tweet… it wasn’t him:
“First of all, I didn’t tweet that – I was hacked,” he said. “But if I feel a certain way, I’m going to say it. Other people should speak up instead of saying yes to everybody, because that just downgrades yourself. The whole UFC is a bunch of yes men and they act appreciative when none of them really are. And that’s just fine. I’m going to say how I feel, and no bullsh–ting.”
Diaz will make his long awaited return to the cage this Saturday night in a key lightweight bout against Rafael dos Anjos.