Dana White: ‘I Think Nick Diaz is Interested in Fighting Right Now’

We may finally get to see Nick Diaz inside the Octagon once again. Diaz last competed in a professional mixed martial arts bout back in Jan. 2015. He initially lost a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva. “The Spider” was popped for banned …

We may finally get to see Nick Diaz inside the Octagon once again. Diaz last competed in a professional mixed martial arts bout back in Jan. 2015. He initially lost a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva. “The Spider” was popped for banned substances, so the fight result was changed to a no contest. Diaz soured […]

UFC 221 Shows Rough State Of The UFC In 2018

Tonight (Sat., February 10, 2018), the UFC will trudge forward with its packed early 2018 schedule, this time offering UFC 221 live on pay-per-view from Perth, Australia. It’s an event that has been largely derided by the majority of MMA media as one of the lesser pay-per-view cards the promotion has put on for some time, […]

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Tonight (Sat., February 10, 2018), the UFC will trudge forward with its packed early 2018 schedule, this time offering UFC 221 live on pay-per-view from Perth, Australia.

It’s an event that has been largely derided by the majority of MMA media as one of the lesser pay-per-view cards the promotion has put on for some time, and indeed, the card has dubious potential to join the list of the worst pay-per-view cards of all-time, at least on paper.

That’s not to say that the Australian fighters on the card won’t show up and put on a night of exciting bouts for the home crowd; they most certainly could and assuming otherwise would be foolish and disrespectful to the athletes who have worked so hard to get where they are in the sport.

And it certainly didn’t help that the main event saw a late-notice change of the worst form when middleweight champion and nearby fan favorite Robert Whittaker was forced from his main event bout with Luke Rockhold thanks to a host of frightening injuries, a fact that was only dampened by Romero missing weight and being unable to contend for the interim title. But overall, the fact that the UFC was even in that position due to the overall shallowness of this card just shows the tough state the promotion is in during 2018.

Attempting to put on an event every single weekend with little to no name value and maybe even less promotion or time to promote it is only helping their FOX TV schedule, and it shows just how much the promotion has simply spread itself thin under new owners Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG).

As many in the media such as MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas have noted during the week leading up to UFC 222, they don’t have the roster depth to keep up this breakneck pace and maintain interest. And Deadspin’s Patrick Wyman succinctly dissected that their insistence on believing the product will sell just because it has the UFC brand attached to it is a foolhardy assumption.

Neither is sustainable for long-term success in the fight game, and it would seem Endeavor is rushing head-first into booking the biggest spectacles they can without much concern for the consequences soon to arise.

Making Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather in the octagon is a perfect example of this cash-grab-and-go strategy, as is making Tyron Woodley vs. Nate Diaz in a farcical welterweight title bout. Last-minutes changes, weight misses, and injuries ruining main events are unpredictable sets of circumstances that certainly don’t help, but the UFC’s seeming insistence on making both FOX-aired and pay-per-view cards as shallow and uninspiring as possible is why offerings like tonight’s cannot recover from losing a huge bout.

It was most likely happening for years if we’re honest – but the outright deluge of viewers and fans brought in by crossover stars Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey truly masked the clear evidence that this plan was not working. With their million buy-ability now gone, nearly every metric measuring the UFC’s success or lack thereof proves it is not – pay-per-view buys are way down, and big FOX ratings have hit an all-time low.

With a new TV deal on the horizon, that’s the worst news Endeavor could hear, so they appear ready to pull out the stops and book the most ‘superfights’ they can in order to drum up interest. They’re major players in Hollywood, so that’s no surprise. It might even work in the short term as it drums up some mainstream attention (‘might’ is the key word there, though).

If it actually gets a major network to pay the reported outlandish figure the UFC is asking is a different story altogether, however, and with figures falling to atrocious levels as the UFC is no longer a special event with watered-down events every weekend, it may turn out they can’t.

What’s clear is that something has to change, however, as tonight’s Rockhold vs. Romero main event is a great fight to be certain, but also one that had been repeatedly discussed for a FOX or Fight Night event, and now the UFC is forcing fans to pay $65 to watch it without any real meat on the undercard to boot.

That fact proves just how out of touch the UFC is with their fans right now, and they’re quickly losing the full backing of many fighters due to low pay and mounting issues over treatment. Something has to change, and it’s unclear when or if anything ever will.

If the new owners (who aren’t so new anymore) want the numbers to pick up in any or all facets of measurable success, they’re going to have to adapt, and serving up a pay-per-view like tonight’s is the exact opposite of doing just that.

Maybe they have something up their sleeve, and it will most likely involve the return of McGregor. A return to the previous glory days of the UFC could be rapidly moving out of reach for the world’s biggest MMA promoters, however, and their insistence to badly water down the schedule while assuming the fanbase would blindly follow the UFC brand are two major reasons why.

Do you envision a bounceback from the UFC this year, or are they digging themselves into an even bigger hole?

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Tyron Woodley Wants To Punch Dana White In The Face

Recently UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has been in a public war of words with UFC president Dana White. While it’s far from the first time we’ve seen a similar scene unfold, this time, the drama centers on White calling Woodley ‘full of s**t’ when he revealed he had been offered a title fight versus […]

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Recently UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has been in a public war of words with UFC president Dana White.

While it’s far from the first time we’ve seen a similar scene unfold, this time, the drama centers on White calling Woodley ‘full of s**t’ when he revealed he had been offered a title fight versus supposedly returning fan favorite Nate Diaz.

‘The Chosen One’ wants to clear the situation, so he addressed it on his ‘Hollywood Beatdown’ segment on TMZ Sports, clarifying that he didn’t say he had received a contract to face Diaz yet, just that the fight had been discussed in December and once again now:

“I don’t want people to think that I’m full of sh*t, as my boss said. And that I’m making this sh*t up. That a fight with me and Nate was never talked about in December and has never been brought up since then — that is bullshit. It has. Did I get a contract to fight Nate? No, I did not. So, if I’m not thinking about the highest prize as a prizefighter, I am a complete idiot. I should suicide slap myself.”

The discussion stemmed from an interview with ESPN where Woodley stated he thought Diaz would be his next fight, eliciting the harsh reaction from White. But Woodley said he was merely stating his thoughts, and never claimed anything resembling an official agreement had been made – just initial opening negotiations. From there, the champ said, things got a little blown out of proportion:

“I’m entitled to think whatever the hell I want to thin. I didn’t say, ‘Hey, the UFC has a bout agreement, we’re in the process of negotiations, Dana White called me and offered me the fight.’ So everyone took that and they ran through the roof with their perception of what that meant.”

Finally, Woodley said in a somewhat joking segment that he wanted to punch White in the face and wasn’t the only fighter in the UFC who wanted to sock the brash frontman:

“Let’s punch Dana White in the face. I know so many fighters on the UFC roster may have been wanting to do this for a long time.

“You gotta get these hands. Can’t hide behind the black suit and the promotion anymore. You gotta get this right hand.”

Woodley’s clash with White is only the latest in an ever-growing, never-ending list of fighters who have an issue with the longtime president under new owners Endeavor.

With each passing event, White seems to be throwing more fighters under the bus, a baffling instance of counterproductivity considering he’s trashing the athletes who he’s supposed to be promoting and also the athletes responsible for aiding Endeavor in making back their $4.2 billion investment.

Fighter morale seems to be at an all-time low in the UFC as of right now, and Woodley is one of the biggest-name fighters to make his discontent public, although he’s far from the only one. Will White continue to stand in his own – and Endeavor’s – way?

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Nick and Nate Diaz Tease Competitive Comebacks in 2018

2017 was a year in the UFC where fans had to make do without either Diaz brother. With the long-term absent Nick Diaz and younger brother Nate both suggesting that may change, 2018 may potentially look a lot different. Nick Diaz has not fought since Ja…

2017 was a year in the UFC where fans had to make do without either Diaz brother. With the long-term absent Nick Diaz and younger brother Nate both suggesting that may change, 2018 may potentially look a lot different. Nick Diaz has not fought since Jan. 2015 when his loss to Anderson Silva was later overturned […]

UFC VP Gives Update On Nick Diaz’ Strange USADA Issues

Nick Diaz hasn’t stepped foot into the Octagon since his UFC 183 showdown with Anderson Silva back in 2015. Both men ended up failing drug tests, Silva for performance-enhancing drugs and Diaz for marijuana, a subsequent offense. Diaz and his brother Nate have always been a prickly pair but Nick has proven to be especially difficult […]

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Nick Diaz hasn’t stepped foot into the Octagon since his UFC 183 showdown with Anderson Silva back in 2015. Both men ended up failing drug tests, Silva for performance-enhancing drugs and Diaz for marijuana, a subsequent offense.

Diaz and his brother Nate have always been a prickly pair but Nick has proven to be especially difficult to get back to fighting.

UFC VP of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky remains optimistic about Nick Diaz’s return, recently discussing his thoughts on the matter on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast:

“Nick was our first fighter that ran into the whereabouts issues. So he got three whereabouts failures in a rolling 12 months, so he’s currently going through that process. It’s a tough one.

“I think he does (want to fight). I think he does. I’ve sat down with him over the past couple months trying to resolve this whereabouts issues. The unfortunate thing there is, look, the whereabouts failures are there to catch people that are cheating and trying to avoid testing. I just think Nick’s lifestyle led to those three whereabouts, not that he was trying to avoid testing. We’re trying to work through that.”

Diaz is provisionally suspended due to failure to notify USADA of his whereabouts, but Novitzky believes he will compete again once the suspension ends.

UFC athletes must provide USADA with there whereabouts three times a year, something Diaz failed to do. However, Novitzky believes that Diaz’s negligence was probably due to the circle of friends and managers he keeps, people who ensure their fighter is on the up-and-up at all times:

“(Diaz) trusted certain individuals to do his whereabouts for him. What I think happened was, over time, those individuals were in and out of his life, and it was unbeknownst to him that he was missing all these things. But again, there’s strict liability here. He’s currently under sanction, but we’re hoping to resolve that pretty quick.”

Do you expect to see Nick Diaz fight in the UFC again?

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Rampage Jackson Wants To Fight Nick Diaz For Trying To Steal His Date

A few weeks ago former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson took to Instagram to post the following video of ex-UFC welterweight title challenger Nick Diaz attempting to steal his date: @nickdiaz209 got me fucked up! I would never try to talk to his chick! I feel soo disrespected,like right in my face. Come […]

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A few weeks ago former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson took to Instagram to post the following video of ex-UFC welterweight title challenger Nick Diaz attempting to steal his date:

This seems to be a bit of revenge from Diaz, who told a story about Jackson once doing the same thing to him several years back when the Stockton native was a teenager:

It seems as though the beef between the two is legit, as Jackson recently did an interview with TMZ Sports in which he claimed he wanted to fight Diaz at heavyweight after he ‘disrespected’ him in front of his date (quotes via MMA Mania):

“Nick Diaz needs to step up to my weight class. That’s all I got to say. Back when MMA first started, there were no weight classes. Nick Diaz, he a warrior just like me. That’s all I got to say, he has to step up to my weight class. He disrespected me in Vegas. We both was drinking, which was good, you in Vegas, you having fun. Nick Diaz, you know you disrespected me and you was out of order motherfucker. He tried to punk me man, It ain’t cool. Come to my weight class.”

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