When Nate Diaz and the UFC were still embroiled in a contract dispute, the promotion’s president Dana White floated the argument that the lightweight “doesn’t move the needle”. The comments weren’t exactly swallowed up by many observers of the sport, since Diaz has headlined several events, and seems to be someone fans are pretty interested in.
After all, we are talking about a dude who is an extremely aggressive fighter, isn’t shy about sharing his thoughts, and will flip the bird when the moment calls for it…
Well, as Diaz gets set to fight Rafael dos Anjos tomorrow night at UFC on FOX 13, the outspoken fighter has not surprisingly been asked about White’s needle mover comments. Here is some of what Diaz had to say the issue, and the fact he’s been booked for another, high profile fight in his return (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I already knew,” Diaz said. “Come on. I’ll lose this fight and they’ll bring me back and put me on another main event, co-main event. And then they probably won’t because I just said that. But it don’t matter, you’re still going to sell the card with me or somebody who’s been around long enough, because everyone’s new.
“There’s great fighters, (Junior) dos Santos, Matt Mitrione, (Stefan) Struve, there’s stars on this card, this is a great card. But don’t give me thatthat it’s not going to be me who’s a part of making any income for you guys. Know your role. Fighters need to know their position.”
Now sure, Diaz may not move tickets and pay-per-view buys like Jon Jones or Ronda Rousey, but he’s right in saying that some folks are going to tune in tomorrow night, because he’s on the card. Yes, JDS, Miocic etc will also draw fans, but Diaz’s bout with dos Anjos is another reason why Saturday’s card is so stacked. It’s just unfortunate that it comes one week after UFC 181, which was a pretty big deal, and casual fans may be MMA’d out….(shudder the thought).
Diaz is coming off a first round, stoppage win over Gray Maynard last November, and dos Anjos took out Benson Henderson in his last outing, at a Fight Night card in August.
UFC on FOX 13 will be hosted by the U.S. Airways Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will feature JDS-Miocic in the main event. The card will also see Alistair Overeem take on Stefan Struve, and Matt Mitrione battle Gabriel Gonzaga.