twitter google

Nate Diaz Wants More Money, Dana White Says Shut Up And Fight


Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting obviously just hit record and let Nate Diaz talk during their recent interview, because that is all Diaz did – talk.

The former contender has been silent outside of a few messages on Twitter since defeating Gray Maynard last year.

He asked for his release from the UFC. He asked for more money.

Rumors of Diaz being set to fight a number of times have come and gone, and now, the fighter is explaining what is going on behind the scenes.

It wouldn’t do it much justice to just post bits and pieces of Helwani’s interview, so here’s a link to the entire story and some of the more notable comments made by Diaz.

“I’m ready to fight but not for some funny money that they’re trying to give me. They can let me go or they can let me fight, but let me do something. They know I need to make some money.”

“They need to be about more money. My contract is all (expletive) up. I want to be paid like these other fighters. I’m over here getting chump change.”

“I train harder than everybody in the UFC. And then there’s boxers out there getting multi-million dollar contracts, and I’m a bigger draw than boxers. It’s embarrassing. I think I’m the biggest draw in the lightweight division.”

“I don’t talk to the UFC. No one calls me. I’m not going to call them beginning. They know I’m on call, I take every fight.”

Diaz also stated that he was told his deal could be renegotiated after his fight with Benson Henderson, which was for the UFC title. UFC president Dana White responded to what Diaz had to say.

“Nate Diaz came in and signed a new deal and was very happy with his new deal,” White said. “If he would have (beat Henderson), his deal would have changed.

“Now he comes off a win over Gray Maynard (following the Henderson and Josh Thomson losses) and feels like he should be making Justin Bieber money. Nate needs to get back in there and start fighting.”

  • AlphaOmega says:

    So Diaz makes 60k/60k and in his last 3 fights he’s 1-2… this time I think Dana is in the right.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    But look at the bigger picture. The UFC has grown exponentially over the past decade or so, and is widely regarded to be valued at more than a billion dollars. Needless to say, there’s a tremendous amount of revenue being generated when it comes to TV/broadcasting deals, PPV, sponsorship, live gate, merchandise, etc.

    So you’ve got all this $$ being generated, off the backs of the fighters more than anything else, and so to me the simple question is how much of the pie is being shared with the fighters?

    Well, in the other mainstream pro sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB there are unions and collective bargaining agreements (CBAs). As part of the CBA, we know exactly how much of the revenue gets paid out to the athletes (right around 50% in each of those leagues), and the actual revenue the leagues are bringing is a matter of public record. In other words, full transparency.

    In MLB the minimum salary this season is $500K. In the NBA & NFL, the minimum is a little under $400K and then escalates from there based on years in the league. For example, for guys who last 3 years in the NBA or NFL that minimum threshold increases to the $600-700K range. And keep in mind this is the very low end of the scale, to simply ensure the bottom tier athletes are getting paid a fair share (i.e. collectively negotiated) relative to the $$ being generated. For the higher caliber players we all know the money can climb into 7, 8 or even 9 figures.

    Obviously the UFC isn’t on the same level as these other pro sports leagues, but at the same time a company valued north of a billion dollars should be sharing a lot more of the $$ with the fighters, IMO. One study estimates that the UFC paid about 10% of its revenue in 2011 to the fighters. Granted, the UFC isn’t required to share its actual revenue numbers (and has chosen not to), so there’s no way to know the true accurate picture. So maybe that study is underestimating the actual numbers, and let’s also assume the UFC has gradually ramped up the % of the pie that it’s sharing with the fighters in the wake of the Fox TV deal as it becomes more established with better stability as a componay. So if we double it to 20%… hell, let’s triple it to 30%… to me that’s still bullshit. The UFC operation is run off the backs of these fighters. I don’t understand how fans can sit back and be OK with the fact the UFC brass is keeping something like 75% (as a seemingly conservative estimate) of the revenue to themselves, while there are numerous fighters being paid just enough to scrape by. I don’t know if it’s just a matter of fan ignorance, or some other combination of factors, but I think it’s ridiculous and am glad every time a fighter is willing to take the risk of speaking out on this topic. It’ll get better eventually… hopefully sooner than later.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Thats the problem with comparing to all those though. They are Leagues, the UFC is basically a team, until there is an over hanging MMA league, with UFC, Bellator, WSOF, whoever under it, then you can’t really make the comparisons.

    This time though I think they are in the right, because even though he may be exciting, or people watch him to hate him (me), he’s 1-2 that shouldn’t earn you big bucks.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    the UFC brass is keeping something like 75% (as a seemingly conservative estimate) of the revenue to themselves,

    Also this statement ^ they aren’t. They have to pay venues, they have to pay the people who put up the cages, they have to pay the people who clean it up, people who hock their merch. They have to pay all the employees in their what 25 main offices, if not more in other countries. They have to pay all the people who go to places before hand to get it ready, promote it before they get there, so its a smooth process. They have to pay the ring girls, the announcers, the interviewers, the camera people, the photographers, the cut men, the secruity.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    They have to pay insurance (edit button would be awesome), and their insurance is good, they have to pay travel for each fighter +1, plus hotel room. The food the fighter eats after weight-in

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Sure, there are different dynamics at play when it comes to the UFC vs. the other pro sports, but in the end it’s very simple — these leagues/companies bring in $X in revenue and pay Y% to the athletes.

    Nate Diaz–who’s coming up on his 7th year & 20th fight with the UFC, who never misses or turns down a fight, who consistently brings a style of fighting the UFC brass encourages–shouldn’t be paid “big bucks” because he lost a title fight and then followed it up with a split against two other top contenders?

    What is “big bucks” anyway? When the UFC is bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars per year in combined TV/PPV money, with another $100 million or so in live gate, plus all of the other revenue streams like sponsors & merch… what would “big bucks” be for a long-tenured, highly ranked, popular name fighter like Nate Diaz be? It’s all relative… the millions upon millions of dollars are rolling in for the UFC – so whatever these fighters earn should be viewed in that context. Just as it wouldn’t be fair to compare Jon Jones’ salary to Lebron James’ salary as a way to say Jones is underpaid, it’s equally foolish to try to view Nate Diaz’s salary in the same context as other more normal jobs/salaries.

    So boil it down… out of every $100 the UFC brings in as a company, the UFC suits keep somewhere around 80 bucks (as a reasonable estimate), while the fighters get to split the other 20 bucks. I mean, really…think about that.

    But because the UFC is generating so much money, even at a relatively small % of the pie the fighter pay starts to look pretty damn good to regular Joe Schmoes like us… “Nate Diaz shouldn’t complain about making $60K or $120K per fight! Get a job in the real world! Argle bargle!!”

    Basically missing the forest thru the trees.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    AO, I’m not suggesting the UFC keeps 75% of revenue as profit. Obviously there is significant overhead, for the UFC and the fighters (equipment, training, etc.)

    The UFC is a billion dollar company that brings in literally hundreds of millions of dollars each year in revenue. Draw a circle on a piece of paper and write 2014 above it. That circle represents the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue the UFC will bring in this year. Divide that circle into 4 equal quarters and shade in 3 outta 4 of them black. That’s what the UFC keeps. The other quarter is what gets split amongst the fighters.

    Now out of each chunk of $$ each side gets, they of course then have to pay for their overhead and keep whatever is left as profit/income.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    More development with Diaz’, this time with big brother Nick. “I’m not considering even for a second fighting any of those guys for less than $500,000. There’s no way.”

    New interview on mmafighting (areil Hewhatever) with him.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Dana says he contacted Nick about making a fight with Lombard happen (which would be great, btw) and that he never heard back from Nick.

    Nick’s version is that he asked Dana what he’d get paid for the fight, and Dana responded that he’d look into Nick’s contract situation. Dana eventually followed up, and Nick didn’t bother to respond back (with Nick suggesting that his silence should have told Dana all he needed to know). I think the Diaz bros are a little wacky, but at the same time I’m glad they’re willing to take a stand on this.

    And speaking of Lombard, the UFC gave him a $400K signing bonus, a $300K starting purse per fight, plus PPV points. So as I rambled on about yesterday, the money is obviously there.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    True but Lombard came in supposedly being the guy who would topple Anderson Silva, and there was big hype around him, and look what happened. Makes sense that now the UFC isn’t wanting to give up big money for someone who won’t perform

  • fanoftna33 says:

    True but we all know win or lose Nate will perform and perform well. I would think the UFC should give out better contracte especially to guys who have been there doing it for them for years over bringing guys in from outside orginations for tons of cash.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I don’t think Nick should get 500k show money when he’s lost twice in a row now. I seem to be in the minority, but I think fighters who have a losing record shouldn’t get a pay raise, fighters on a winning record should. If they UFC is trying to be less WWE and more actual sport then they need to go towards that and less away from, oh well this guy is entertaining but can’t win for shit (Hardy I’m looking at you) or this guy plays a good heel/face roll.

    I also don’t think Nick should be allowed to come back and fight for Hendricks right off the bat.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I like Nick a lot but agree he should in no way get another title shot. If he comes in and beats a very good fighter like Lombard, Rory, Woodley then yes. Until then he just needs to worry about winning a fight.


You must be logged in to post a comment.