‘No one was helping me!’ Nate Diaz defends UFC President Dana White on fighter pay, brushes off idea of fighter union

UFC legend Nate Diaz defended company president Dana White against criticisms that he doesn’t pay fighters enough money.

During an appearance on the “All the Smoke” podcast with former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, the hosts commented on White taking “heat” for “underpaying fighters.”

Diaz responded by explaining he had no real concept of money when he first started fighting, living month to month and fight to fight. By the time the then-22-year-old won season five of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2007 — which came with a “six-figure contract” — Diaz thought he was already rich.

“I said I’m gonna buy that house, I’m gonna by that car,” the fighter laughed.

‘Diaz got into the UFC earlier in its tenure and built himself on his personality more than his fight ability.’

“I don’t think people have the concept of what money is and how much,” Diaz said. “I think Dana White gets a f***ing bad rap. I’m not giving him a good one, but bro, he’s paying a lot more people a lot more money than f***ing people think. I just don’t think people know what’s what,” Diaz stated.

“How is he as a person?” host Barnes asked.

“I think he’s cool,” Diaz replied. “I’m not backing up Dana White. … I want more money, too. Give those motherf***ers some more money, give me some too, if I have to go back there,” he continued.

“But he’s paying a lot of people a lot of money, more than the boxing [fighters]. As far as combat sports say, boxing pays the highest-paid fighters … a lot more than the UFC has. But the UFC, I think, pays a lot more people a lot of money. He pays the whole roster a bunch of f***ing s***. People when they make this s*** happen, though, they should demand their s*** and get their own s***.”

Former UFC fighter and current BTC champion T.J. Laramie said that Diaz was able to capitalize on a unique opportunity due to how early in the UFC’s existence he became popular.

“Diaz got into the UFC earlier in its tenure and built himself on his personality more than his fight ability. Most people don’t get that same opportunity even if they have better fighting skills.”

“Not to mention the problem with fighter pay lies within the outliers like Diaz,” Laramie added. “What he doesn’t understand is that he could actually be getting paid even more if he buckled down and agreed to a fighters’ union.”

“Take Demetrious Johnson, for example, he had a way better career than Nate Diaz but made probably 1/4th of what Diaz did in his career,” Laramie explained.

Johnson was one of the most popular fighters in the MMA community and was widely considered to be an all-time great, but seemingly due to low pay-per-view numbers and fighting at 135 pounds, he was seen as underpaid.

Diaz commented on the idea of the fighters’ union and said, “I was talking all that ‘f*** you’ to the UFC and no one was helping me!”

“If you train hard enough, you’ll figure that s*** out,” he concluded.

The MMA and boxing star attributed most of his success throughout the interview to training hard and staying focused on his discipline.

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