It took a while, but over the course of a 19-year MMA career, Nate Diaz turned himself into a top drawing attraction. The former Ultimate Fighter winner and one-time lightweight title contender racked up a host of performance bonuses in his 15-years with the UFC, but it wasn’t until a pair of high profile PPV matches with Conor McGregor in 2016 that he became a fighter fans really showed up for.
Even then, however, it seemed that Stockton’s own had a hard time getting the respect of UFC brass. Eventually pushing him to part ways with the world’s largest MMA promotion in search of big money fights in other sports.
This week, Diaz prepares to step inside the ring with noted celebrity pugilist Jake Paul. In a recent interview with ESPN, the 38-year-old talked about the build up to the event and what it’s been like doing his own fight promoting under his newly formed Real Fight Inc. promotional banner
Nate Diaz on carving his own path with his own promotion
One of the main reasons why Diaz started his own promotional fight company was to get a free hand in delivering his personal approach to combat sports. Something he believes will help draw fans in to this Saturday’s PPV event.
“Like I said before,” Diaz explained. “I’m doing stuff nobody’s ever done before. I think I’ve been doing that my whole career, so I plan on continuing for a long time.”
“I’ve had a lot of thoughts on the way things should go throughout my whole fight career, and people would put stops to it or say, ‘That’s not how it goes’ or something. And I was like, well, I need to be on my own then, and do my own thing. Because I like to make it, I like to run my show; it’s my show and I’m fighting on it, you know? So I think I have the experience and the time put in to call the shots on the way I think things should go. Because I like entertainment too in fights, and I know what I like to see.
“I’m putting out a lot of ways on how to do things, if you actually watch. But I copy the book from people too. You know, I watched what was happening,” Diaz continued. “Golden Boy f—king did his own promotion, Mayweather did his own thing. And my brother did stuff, I saw Chael Sonnen do stuff, and people do stuff. And with martial arts, you’re gonna take the whole package and it’s the art itself. Just the whole fight game. I know who people want to see fight, I know who I want to see fight, more[so] than other people.”
Despite his interest in running his own promotion, and all the notes he’s been taking from other successful promoters, Diaz doesn’t sound all that interested in building hype for his fight with Paul through trash talk. More than anything it seems that’s something he’s trying to avoid.
Nate Diaz feels no need for theatrics and beef
During the interview, Diaz was asked to respond to Jake Paul’s provocative comments towards him over the last several weeks, leading up to their upcoming fight. Apart from the usual bluster that Paul expects to knock Diaz out, the ‘Problem Child’ has also been expressing his frustration with Diaz’s seeming lack of interest in promoting their fight.
“That’s his problem,” Diaz responded, when asked about Paul’s frustrations with the lack of trash-talk. “I think my fighting from over the years promotes my fights, and I’m not gonna get into a little kid argument with the guy and act like it isn’t realer than it is.
“It don’t get no realer than this anyway. I don’t talk a bunch of s—t like he wants to do, I don’t want to see him talk s—t and go back and forth. He said something about me f—cked up at the press conference; I’m like, I wasn’t there for no argument. I don’t even want to go to a press conference to argue with nobody. If we’re gonna argue, we’re gonna fight, so let’s just stay the f—k away from each other before the fight, pardon my language.”
As for promoting the fight, Diaz has his sights set not on attracting viewers to the event so much as he wants to deliver a message to Jake Paul, loud and clear:
“I’m ready to go to war right now, and I’m ready to be cool until it’s time to have a fight,” Diaz explained. “I don’t care. I’m in an important point of my career where it’s like, I’m not trying to scare anybody, I’m not trying to fool anybody. If people want to watch, that’d be great. If they don’t, that’s fine too.”
“That’s where [Paul] got me twisted. I’m not in a gimmick fight with him. Man, I only need him to know that I’ll whoop his ass. I don’t need the whole world. I don’t need to go begging for people to watch. Don’t watch.”
The only thing Diaz is being provocative over is the amount of rounds that he and Paul are supposed to fight in their boxing match. While there was some static online over how many they’d prefer to fight, during the interview, Diaz claimed, “I don’t really care about the rounds. I’d rather have less rounds, but it’s just funny to see [Jake Paul] make a big deal over it anyway.”
“It was just funny because I was like, why do 8 rounds? [Paul] just fought 8 rounds a bunch of times, right? What’s the rules? I don’t really even know the rules for boxing. If it was like, a championship, I think championship fights are 10 rounds and 12 rounds. 10 and 12. Yeah, I don’t know and I wasn’t sure. So I was like, well, let’s do more rounds. It was just a little thought I didn’t really care about.”
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