Dana White: The Diaz Brothers Will Be a Sad Story 1 Day

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2014

USA Today

Nick and Nate Diaz have always done things their way.

From pre-fight banter to mid-fight vulgarity, the California brothers bow to no man.

Now while their brash and somewhat thuggish mentalities have fueled wildly popular careers full of championship fights and pay-per-view headliners, it may ultimately cost them in the long run.

It's still early to paint the picture that would be the ending to their illustrious careers, but Nick and Nate have begun to burn the wrong bridges. The type of bridges that could quickly close the window of opportunity for two fighters in their prime.

UFC president Dana White, who has probably put up with more from the Diaz brothers than any man should ever have to, discussed their futures in a recent interview with MMA Junkie's Mike Bohn:

This is one of those situations that is going to be a sad story in a few years when you look back on it. You’re going to say they were two talented kids that had fans and had interest in fighting and they sat out. What people don’t realize when you’re in the moment and your time is now, guys don’t realize until it’s over. You will never make that kind of money again for the rest of your life. You should fight as much as you can possibly fight, get as popular as you can ever get and make as much money as you possibly can.

Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Nate Diaz fights Josh Thomson (not pictured) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

White's budding issue with Nate Diaz requesting a new contract and future lightweight title fight seems to be at an all time high, per Bohn:

With the Nate Diaz thing, he was in a position where he fought for the title. Then he fought again to put himself back in title contention and got knocked out in that fight. Now he wants a new contract and a title shot and all that. It’s just not how this stuff works. You can sit out, you can talk all you want, you can tweet all you want and you can do whatever you want. The bus is going to pass you by and you’re going to be sitting there going, ‘What did I do?’ Or maybe they won’t. They’re the kind of kids that, listen, you came from the mean streets and you guys are street guys and all that cool s–t. I get it. But you gotta play the game a little bit.

That game is often difficult to play, especially for fighters who pride themselves in self-promoting, personal space and total disregard for the professional showmanship that the sport of mixed martial arts requires.

In the case of Nick Diaz, a guy who has famously refused to partake in pre-fight press conferences, television shows and interviews, White has found it difficult to please his high demands as a fighter who hasn't tasted victory since a 2011 scrap with an aging B.J. Penn, per Bohn:

You can’t pick up the phone and call these guys. I talked to Nick, I offered him the Lombard fight, he said he was interested in it, then gone – he disappears. You can’t contact him again. You can’t get a hold of him.

Whether or not the Diaz brothers are capable of changing and adapting to the professionalism that this business demands of you, it's still in the UFC's best interest to give them the most high-profile matchups available.

Because as two of the most popular fighters in the sport today, it would be crazy for the UFC to lose out on the cash that comes along with the headache.


For more UFC news and coverage,