Nate Diaz Speaks out on Money Complaints, Dana White Offers His Thoughts

Jeremy Botter@jeremybotterMMA Senior WriterApril 9, 2014

NEW YORK - MARCH 06:   UFC lightweight Nate Diaz speaks at a press conference at Radio City Music Hall on March 06, 2012 in New York City.  UFC announced that their third event on the FOX network will take place on Saturday, May 5 from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)
Michael Nagle/Getty Images

Nate Diaz isn't happy about his treatment at the hands of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and he's not going to take it anymore.

Diaz, who has not competed since a November win against Gray Maynard, had tweeted a request for his release from the company back in February.

Today, the mercurial lightweight went into more detail with MMAFighting's Ariel Helwani. Diaz said a lot of things, and I'm only going to share a few tidbits with you. But I highly encourage you to read the whole thing.

In the meantime, we'll break down a few of his statements. 

I think I'm the biggest draw in the lightweight division. I feel like they're trying to weed me out of the top 10. I saw that I went from no. 5 to 6 in the rankings, for some reason. That doesn't make any sense.

Diaz is one of the more popular fighters in the lightweight division. That's a fact.

But he's also displaying a fundamental misunderstanding of how the UFC rankings work. The UFC isn't weeding him out of the top 10. The UFC doesn't create its rankings; they're voted on by a large number of media.

I agree that Diaz shouldn't be moved down a spot for no reason. Rafael dos Anjos, the fighter who bumped Diaz into sixth, hasn't competed since last August. But the rankings aren't perfect and likely never will be. If I were Diaz, I wouldn't worry about where he falls in the rankings because they don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

As far as I'm concerned, I don't get paid s--t. I get $60,000 (to show) and $60,000 (to win). If I were doing this for the fame, I would have quit seven years ago. I can't tell you what my brother and Gil make, but I can tell you that they signed a contract for more than I get paid to headline and win a fight, and that's bulls--t.

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$60,000 to show and $60,000 to win is a pretty decent payday, and that means Diaz is getting paid far more than many of his fellow fighters.

It must be tough to see Melendez with his shiny new contract that makes him one of the highest-paid athletes in the sport. But the fact that Diaz has lost two of his last three fights leaves him very little space to demand a contract renegotiation.

If I can get released, I can go fight somewhere and make some money. If they can renegotiate, I can make some money, because right now I'm broke. For some reason, the IRS is telling me that I owe them more money than I have right now, and I pay my taxes every year.

This is troubling. Nate's brother Nick has also spoken of his troubles with the IRS in the past. It seems like both Diaz brothers need a better financial counselor because there is no way a professional fighter making that much money should be in trouble with the IRS. It is imperative that athletes surround themselves with people who can handle these types of things.

And I think Diaz will discover that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. If he's truly making $60,000 to show and $60,000 to win, I can't imagine many promotions outside the UFC offering him more.

UFC president Dana White told Helwani there's only one way for Diaz to fix his money issues: He needs to fight.

Nate Diaz has what it takes to be champion or he doesn't, but I'll tell you, there's only one way to find out. He has to come back and fight. He thinks he loses to two of the best guys in the world and deserves more money? In what f----g planet does that make sense?"

Like it or not, this makes sense. I believe fighters should make more money, but sitting on the sidelines and complaining won't do any good. If Diaz needs money, he should get back in the cage. If he believes he's worth more than he's currently making, he needs to prove it with his performances.