It may be from being in two of the biggest fights in the history of UFC, but Nate Diaz is one of the biggest names in the entire sport. After upsetting McGregor in UFC 196, their second bout in UFC 202 was one of the best sporting events I have ever watched, one that absolutely catapulted UFC’s popularity through the roof. So for the life of me, I cannot figure out why the UFC would not give Diaz, as well as his brother, tickets to UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden last weekend.
In an interview with ESPN, Diaz stated that he or his brother, Nick Diaz, were not given tickets to the event last Saturday by UFC President, Dana White. I’m not going to tell White how to handle his business because he’s made millions upon millions of dollars, but this move seemed a bit strange to me.
I understand that the Diaz and his brother may do things that the UFC doesn’t want to see from one of their top fighters, but that’s what he is: a top fighter. You have to treat him as one. Again, it may only be from his place in two fights with McGregor, who is undoubtedly the biggest star in the sport himself, but those two fights broke the record for PPVs sold in UFC history. How can Dana White show him absolutely zero respect by not giving him a ticket?
My guess is that White wanted to make UFC 205 all about McGregor and his quest to obtain his second championship belt (which he did and I won big money on), and from that sense I can somewhat understand. The night was supposed to be about McGregor, and I would imagine that the camera would pan over to Diaz multiple times throughout the night, and the color commentators would keep bringing up a potential third fight between the two. So yes, if that was White’s prerogative, I understand him not giving tickets to the Diaz brothers.
But on the other hand, the entire world wants to see McGregor vs. Diaz for a third and most likely final time. I can’t reiterate enough how good the first two fights were, they were absolutely must-watch television. White not giving Diaz a ticket to the event was a metaphorical slap in the face to the fighter and could have maybe pissed him off enough to point where he doesn’t want the third fight to happen.
Diaz does not even come close to the same stratosphere as McGregor in terms of popularity and showmanship, but what I love about him is that he is the grittiest and toughest son of a bitch in the entire UFC. It doesn’t matter how many shots he takes to the face (which is a lot by the way), he is nearly impossible to knock out. He doesn’t bring the same type of electricity as Conor McGregor does to an arena, but he can fight with the best of them.
White has said in the past that a third fight between Diaz and McGregor won’t happen, but personally, I think he is full of shit. The entire world wants to see it happen, and there would be an absurd amount money that would be missed if the UFC didn’t do it. Hopefully, a deal gets done, but Diaz comes across as a pretty prideful guy, so White not giving him a ticket to UFC 205 could possibly prevent it from happening.
It was indeed a very strange move from White not treating one of his biggest fighters like a true star last Saturday, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what his reason behind it was.