Nate Diaz is probably making more money and getting more attention than he ever has in his MMA career, but that does not mean he is going to give much credit to the man he will be facing this month at UFC 202, Conor McGregor.
“I’m not one of those guys who sat around here ******* taking contracts,” Diaz said during a conference call on Friday. “I’ve been bitching about my contract for the last six years. I’ve been going through hell, so I knew I was going to get mine. When it was time to get mine, I was going to get what I was going to get regardless, and I had a plan to do it. It’s not thanks to Conor that I got all of this, but I’m going to say that was a shortcut.”
The Diaz brothers are easily one of the most famous and marketable duos in mixed martial arts. But while older brother Nick is frequently a pay-per-view headliner – facing top names such as Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva – Nate rarely makes pay-per-view cards or main events. In fact, his latest win over McGregor was the first time in five years he had been on a pay-per-view card and one of only two times in that time period where he headlined a card.
Now, Nate is one half of what is easily the biggest rematch and possibly the biggest fight of the year so far.
Is all of this success thanks to Conor, or was the featherweight champion just “a shortcut” for the younger Diaz’ rise to the top?