The UFC head honcho spoke to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports about the Stockton native ahead of his UFC swansong. The pair spoke about the things that made him a star. Nate Diaz is one of the UFC’s highest-ever earners and has reciprocated by being part of some of the biggest events in company history. His pair of fights with Conor McGregor garnered nearly 3 million PPV buys combined. He is also one of the best self-promoters in the history of the UFC.
Dana White tried to put his finger on what made Nate Diaz a star, stating, “I think that’s it, his whole anti-the company, anti-everything.”
At this point, Dana White takes a pause to look at the camera and flip the bird in a very Diaz-esque manner, as the legendary Mike Goldberg would have put it, before continuing on.
“The willingness to fight anyone, the list goes on and on. The Diaz brothers are so intriguing. I was talking to this guy today, this old guy, probably in his seventies. This guy is telling me he loves the Diaz brothers. I didn’t think this guy would know who the Diaz brothers are.”
Diaz’s most “anti-establishment” act to date may be his outright refusal to re-sign with the UFC, despite the alleged power tactics that were used to urge him to do so. This includes placing Diaz in what many felt was a horrible stylistic matchup in Khamzat Chimaev. That fight would ultimately be canceled, however, after Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds.
The widespread appeal of the brothers is always readily apparent, and no more so this weekend as Diaz will now face off against Tony Ferguson in a true dream match. With the recent widespread, yet still somewhat secretive backstage brawls between Khamzat Chimaev, The Diaz camp, Kevin Holland, and possibly the cast of Glee, the monster that is UFC 279 only continues to grow wilder.
Do you agree with Dana White? Is Nate Diaz a big star mainly because of his anti-establishment approach?