The headline speaks for itself: Nick Diaz had a very good financial year in 2011 and stands to possibly double that in 2012 when he fights for the UFC welterweight championship against Georges St-Pierre.
In previous columns and in other press, it's been mentioned repeatedly that Diaz often complains about respect, and lack of money.
Obviously, we all know that the respect issue is all in his head. He's been given tons of respect by those inside the sport and on the outside. He even gets respect from people that don't like him, which is a pretty large amount of people.
While the respect card is easy to play and varies in opinion, the money issue is just plain ridiculous. Diaz made quite a princely sum in 2011. Let's go through the events.
Diaz started this year by fighting Evangelista Santos in January at Strikeforce's Diaz vs. Cyborg. He was successful in the cage, as he pocketed $150K for his successful title defense.
A few months later, Diaz came back to defend his title against UFC exile Paul Daley. Once again, Diaz was successful and defended his title. For his efforts, he put away $175K.
Last, but certainly not least, Diaz sent B.J. Penn into retirement with a decision victory this past Saturday night at UFC 137. Diaz ended the year in style and added another $200K for his victory, along with a $75K bonus for Fight of the Night.
Nothing about what I just listed says "broke."
To be fair, I'll compare Diaz's earnings against his future opponent, Georges St-Pierre. GSP fought at UFC 129 against Jake Sheilds and successfully defended his title. For a successful win, GSP walked away with $200K, along with a $200K win bonus. Pretty good for one fight.
If you add all this up, Diaz made $600K for 2011 while GSP made $400K. I'm not saying we should feel bad for GSP at all—I'm sure he made up what he lost in endorsements.
What I'm saying is that Diaz is on par with the upper echelon fighters when it comes to earnings. There's no need for him to mention money being a detriment. Ever.
So if he wants to complain about something, he should chose a different topic.