“I knew that I brought the numbers. When I fought on Fox it was like 3, 4, 5 million viewers every time I fight and headline these Fox shows. That’s where my argument was in the first place. I was like, ‘I see what’s going on here.’ So when I said they were trying to hold me back and trying to say that I wasn’t moving the needles or whatever, I already knew that. I knew the [UFC 196] pay-per-view numbers were going to be huge. My point was proven. [Conor McGregor] brings a big following and he’s got good numbers, too, but that’s why I was saying after my fight with [Michael] Johnson, I was like, ‘You want to see a fight?’ No one pays attention. That’s why I had to demand that [expletive] and express it and come off the way I did, so I could try to get a fight. Now they can’t deny it, the whole needle-moving thing.”
-Nate Diaz talks to MMAJunkie.com about UFC 196’s numbers proving his status as a “needle mover.”
Penick’s Analysis: Diaz, despite some adverse results in recent years, has always had a fan base; Dana White’s comments from two years ago saying Diaz wasn’t a “needle mover” were wrong then, and they’re clearly wrong now, as he took out McGregor in the main event of what is now one of the UFC’s biggest ever events. They need to treat him as a legitimate money maker in his own right, and hopefully they’ll give him the type of fight and payday he’s earned out of that UFC 196 moment.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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