One of the more bizarre storylines to emerge from Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather, was Nate Diaz and Brendan Schaub’s heated exchange backstage.
Usually, when you see two personalities from the MMA world clash at a huge event, it feels orchestrated to try to sell a potential fight. A prime example of this was Michael Bisping and Tyron Woodley’s verbal sparring match at UFC 207.
With no marquee names in the welterweight or middleweight title pictures at the time, it certainly appeared as though both men tried to make a super fight happen in order to earn a slightly better payday for their next trip to the Octagon.
Other times, you will see two fight personalities get into it in front of cameras for no good reason whatsoever. If you want an example of this, check out Bisping’s war of words with Eddie Bravo or what happened between former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub and current UFC superstar Nate Diaz backstage after August 26’s Money Fight.
Just bizarre https://t.co/KcPubj8u6i
— SportsJOE.ie (@SportsJOEdotie) August 27, 2017
No one in their right mind thinks that these two were selling a fight. Despite what Dana White and Skip Bayliss might say, Diaz is nowhere near as big as the retired heavyweight. Plus Schaub has had such a successful career outside the Octagon, it’s highly doubtful that he ever wants his face caved in by a Travis Browne type ever again.
Schaub explained what happened on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience and it actually made quite a bit of sense. Big Brown’s supreme confidence made him say a few things that he probably shouldn’t have which Diaz, being Diaz, was never going to take well.
“I figured I would go towards him (Diaz) and whether he wanted my help or not, I would know a few things about marketing. The next fight for him is Conor. I’m assuming he’s there to sell that fight. That should be the next fight, Conor vs Nate Diaz III, the trilogy. That’s the fight.”
Skip Bayless' account of Nate/Conor 1 is fucking absurd. Nate had at least 140 lbs on him pic.twitter.com/tRIgb3HnJ8
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) August 9, 2017
Schaub wanted to generate some hype for the trilogy. He figured that was the reason why Diaz attended the fight, but he thought the Stockton native could have done a better job selling it.
“I saw some interviews where he was kind of hating on Conor and I would have spun it the other way. He should have celebrated Conor and what he did winning rounds against the best of all time and saying, ‘Look, I beat him up worse than Floyd. Now we’re going to do this trilogy. I’m going to end him faster than Floyd did.’ Like that should be the sell. I was going to go talk to him about this.”
“I’m like, ‘Yo Nate, bro. How about that fight man? You’re next. Biggest fight in UFC history, brother.'”
His first mistake was thinking that Diaz would have anything complimentary to say about his arch rival’s performance. Diaz immediately took aim at Schaub’s pre-fight analysis in which he suggested McGregor would cause problems and win multiple rounds.
“And he starts laughing, he’s like, ‘Oh Hell no! How fucking stupid do you look now?’ I’m like caught off guard like, ‘What?’ He’s like, ‘How stupid do you look talking all this shit?’ I’m like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! What are you doing right now? What the hell are you doing right now?’ He keeps talking all this shit.”
— SportsJOE.ie (@SportsJOEdotie) August 28, 2017
Diaz disagreed with the one judge that gave McGregor multiple rounds and instead sided with the other two who only scored the first in his favour. Schaub was taken aback. He wasn’t prepared for such a confrontational response.
“I’m like, ‘Nate, I have no issues with you. You’re pointing your gun at the wrong guy. What are you doing right now? You should be selling this fight against Conor, not me. I’m not the guy. I’m in skinny jeans and Gucci boots, for god’s sakes! What are you doing right now?'”
However, Schaub added a snippet of information that explains why Diaz reacted more aggressively than expected. While the Showtime staff were trying to usher him away from a possible fist fight, he dropped a comment about Diaz’s manner of speaking which caused him to see red.
“This is the part I left out. This is what triggered him. He was talking and I literally couldn’t hear him because people were like, ‘Schaub, let’s go,’ because they didn’t want a fight. I’m like, ‘Nate, use your words! I can’t understand a word you’re saying. Use your words!’ He has that lisp or whatever and that probably set him off.”
That explains a lot. No wonder Diaz was even more pissed off than usual.