At last night’s press conference after UFC 202 in Las Vegas, Nev., Nate Diaz said he was surprised when the decision was announced. “I didn’t think for a second I lost at the end of the fight,” he said.
Regarding his future, he said: “I won’t be doing sh– until round 3. You won’t be seeing me until then. It wouldn’t be good business for him (McGregor) to take any other fight.”
He wasn’t shy about addressing his relationship with UFC and some contract issues they went back and forth on before UFC 202. “Oh, I won. Change is happening right now. If you wanna be successful you gotta follow the leader.”
Cervantes Analysis: Nate Diaz is in a very good position as he is finally being paid what he feels he is worth. He infuriated the UFC earlier in the year when they were in negotiations regarding his compensation for this fight and, even in defeat, he took home a massive check. His strong-arm tactics have shown that the UFC can pay much more than they have been and it will have a trickle down effect as more fighters begin to fight for better compensation. As far as the third fight, it would be interesting to see and an easy sell given how the first two fights went. That being said, McGregor should return for at least one or two fights at 145 to keep the division moving. We’re almost in September and McGregor has yet to defend the title he won back in December but that’s a conversation for him and the UFC.
Keller’s Analysis: Diaz knows he’ll make more money waiting for a third fight, even if that means being inactive for a year or so, than fighting again in his division against a top ten contender and risking losing. The payday for fighting one or two other fights against non-marquee names could cost him a lot of leverage for an eventual rubber match with McGregor. McGregor is likely to win his next fight in his won weight division and because he has a title, he has more of an “obligation” to defend that title before another fight with Diaz. If Diaz, however, is offered a title shot or a super-fight dream match against someone other than McGregor, his name value and credibility is nearly as high after that loss as it was before the loss because it was such a competitive, high-profile fight.