Last week the UFC formally announced a welterweight fight between Matt Brown and Nate Diaz (moving up from lightweight) for the big UFC 189 pay-per-view in July. Of course, this does involve a Diaz brother, so it’s virtually guaranteed to be anything but easy and straightforward. Shortly after last Wednesday’s announcement, Diaz said “nah I’m fighting [Anthony] Pettis” on Twitter. Matt Brown later posted (then deleted) an Instagram pic of what was supposedly his signed contract agreement.
On Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour on Monday, Diaz gave his side of the story regarding the Brown fight, continuing to emphasize that he never agreed to it. (Quotes via MMA Fighting)
“I was told the Brown fight was talked about but they were supposed to work out a deal and figure it all out, negotiate the fight the next Monday. Then all of a sudden (it’s announced),” Diaz said. “I never necessarily okayed the fight, the fight was never negotiated, and then all of a sudden I was getting blown up about the fight.
“I think that’s a great fight, everybody would want to see that fight — I would if I was just a fight fan, that sounds like an awesome fight, like a fight you’d like to see. But it was never talked about, and it kind of feels like I’m being forced into a fight instead of talked to and dealt with fairly.”
Diaz hasn’t fought since losing a decision to Rafael dos Anjos in December, and before that he was removed from the UFC rankings after a lengthy contract dispute with the promotion. UFC president Dana White stated during this period that the TUF 5 winner and former 155 lbs title challenger “doesn’t move the needle” (referencing PPV buys and TV ratings).
On an interesting note, the 29-year-old Diaz said he’s not being “tricked into fighting” anymore and also indicated that he doesn’t have any input in when and whom he gets to fight.
“What happened with this Matt Brown fight is the same thing that happened with the last fight,” Diaz said. “They didn’t really, it was just kind of like, ‘you’re fighting.’ Well then I guess I’m fighting. It’s all good, it’s in the past, it already happened. I just, I’m not into being tricked into fighting anymore. I think I should have a little more say. I think I’m older now, and like I said, if I’m going to fight, I think it should be worth my while, not just because they say I’m fighting and now I’m fighting.
“If someone got a hold of me, that’d be great,” Diaz added. “If not, it’s all good too. I don’t need to fight. Like I said, I don’t need to fight my life away. I’m all good with not fighting, so if they want to work that out, that’d be great. If not, I’ll be watching and tuning into the fights and making sure everything is going good and taking some time off relaxing.”
For now, Diaz vs. Brown is still on for UFC 189, but don’t expect Diaz to stop voicing his frustrations with the promotion any time soon.
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