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05th May 2017

Dana White’s latest attempt to devalue Nate Diaz is just plain wrong

He couldn't be that much of a dummy

Ben Kiely

Dana White is a smart dude, but he has been known to try to force-feed everyone some baloney in the past.

The UFC president is a master of spin. That’s the type of skill one must have to become a businessman on his level.

Remember when women were never going to fight in the UFC, before Ronda Rousey became the biggest superstar in the sport?

Remember when the UFC wasn’t up for sale, before it was sold in the largest franchise sale in sports history?

Remember all those times the UFC were going to put on a show in Cowboys Stadium? Weren’t they spectacular events that never happened?

As Chael Sonnen may argue, certain things are true at the time they are said due to circumstance, but it seems like a lot of things White has claimed to be the definitive truth end up being complete and utter hogwash.

White’s latest steaming pile of bovine excrement came in response to Nate Diaz’s fiery MMA Hour special, in which he broke down why he was a legitimate superstar. It’s really hard to argue against that. He’s one of only a handful of fighters who have broken into the mainstream and sure, he only achieved that because he beat Conor McGregor, but his next fight is guaranteed to be a draw even if the Dubliner isn’t involved, right?

Well, El Presidente doesn’t see it that way, as he told Yahoo Sports.

“Whatever his deal is, he’s got a pretty good deal. I mean, listen, at the end of the day, what is Diaz worth without Conor McGregor? I don’t know. The kid isn’t in a position for pay-per-view or any of that type of [stuff]. But this could put him in a position. If he fought Tony Ferguson, it would be for the interim title.”

“Obviously, if you held the interim title, you would get a piece of the pay-per-view. Diaz has to put himself in a position to make the pay-per-view money.”

It’s true that we don’t know what Diaz is worth now without McGregor. It’s difficult to gauge how much his stock has risen since that glorious sequel. Odds are he’s worth considerably less than ‘the Notorious,’ but at the same time, he’s likely to be worth far more than the vast majority of the rest of the fighters on the roster. White’s claim that Diaz isn’t a PPV draw, despite the fact that his last two fights were two of the highest PPVs in the history of the sport is remarkable.

What’s worse is the suggestion that an interim title fight would somehow up his value. That move didn’t work for Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis, and it’s unlikely to have much of an impact on a fight between Diaz and Ferguson.

White kept going too, giving more soundbites that felt like attempts to antagonise the Stockton native.

“People really like the Diaz brothers. When they get in there, they’re tough and gritty and they mix it up. They’re fun to watch and their interviews are fun, and funny. They’re popular guys. But at the end of the day, people are excited about guys who want to win world titles and they want to find out who the best fighters in the world are in each weight class. Those are the things that sell and those are the things that people are interested in.”

Of course, of course… world titles, interim bullshit belts and all that. Seeing the best fighters in the world slug it out is what the people want. That’s why Paige VanZant and Sage ManZant are always either on big cards or high up the bill on smaller ones.

We presume that must have also been why CM Punk was signed as well.