Nate Diaz Should Be Cut From the UFC. Here’s Why.

By Raphael Garcia

Those who follow mixed martial arts will readily admit that a career in this sport is far different from regular jobs or even in other professional sports. In a world where heads of promotions curse at fans, and many fighters refuse to complain about pay, it’s not particularly odd that a brash individual like Nate Diaz would gain notoriety and become a cult hero of sorts. However, after his performance at UFC on Fox 13, it is time for the UFC to cut ties with the Stockton native.

Missed workouts, walking out of interviews, and rants against the company are the norm for both of the Diaz boys. Both Nate and his brother Nick have have acted out countless times for reasons that are nearly impossible to explain. But while the public tends to laugh at these moments, UFC President Dana White and others have become more outspoken about their behavior.

There’s a laundry list of issues [with Diaz]. Like I’ve said, I’ve always liked Nate, but he’s his own worst enemy,” White said of Diaz after Saturday’s bout. “He says he wants to make more money, and then he comes in four pounds overweight, which now you lose 20 percent of your purse. Did a ton of other stuff. He needs to get his head together, get back in the game or retire.”

These are strong words coming from the man who plays a major role in how successful Diaz can become in his MMA career. Yet Diaz doesn’t seem to care or desire to change his ways. He openly berated the UFC for its deal with Reebok, and then he went on a rant about the signing of Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, which went viral days before his fight with Rafael dos Anjos. He made excellent points about his objection to the signing of the WWE star — at one point he said that it made the entire UFC look “amateur.” However, just a few days later, he showed up nearly five pounds overweight, which is an amateur move in its own right.

In essence, Nate Diaz has become the UFC’s version of CM Punk. Just as Punk’s character and real life persona was outspoken against Vince McMahon and WWE, it seems as if Nate and his brother Nick (who has been oddly quiet as of late) continue to play the exact same role for the UFC. One has to wonder if, like WWE with CM Punk, the promotion has had enough, and will eventually decide to send him on his way.

The UFC does not need Nate Diaz. The lightweight division is stacked with men that would love the same opportunities that Diaz has had recently in his career. In his last five fights — in which he has a 2-3 record — Diaz has headlined three events (The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale, UFC on Fox 5, and UFC on Fox 3), while fighting on a Fox co-main event and Fox main card in the other two. Dos Anjos, who will fight Anthony Pettis for the lightweight title at some point in 2015, has not experienced the same type of exposure. Diaz steadily complains about the organization that signs his checks, but other fighters in the weight class wish for the kind of treatment Diaz receives.

However, Diaz does not need the UFC either. If he walked away from the promotion today, Bellator MMA would not hesitate to sign him to a deal. The organization made a play for Gilbert Melendez, which ultimately brought Diaz’s teammate an even bigger deal from the UFC. The Viacom-owned promotion is looking to sign big names to put in its events and draw attention, and Nate Diaz fits that mold perfectly. Plus he could defeat many fighters on the roster while being paid well for doing so — quite a winning situation for a man that comes from the humble upbringings that he constantly mentions.

Nate Diaz is not a bad mixed martial artist; that much is clear. However, his management of his career deserves the term “misguided.” After a poor performance on top of outright disrespect for the company, Diaz should be sent packing. The UFC would not suffer from this move, and Diaz would certainly benefit.


UFC on FOX 13: Dos Santos vs. Miocic took place on December 13, 2014 at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC on Fox 13 was.

What Do You Think of This Fight/Event?