On this day six years ago, we ran a story about Nick Diaz slamming the UFC for how the promotion was compensating his younger brother Nate.
Today, the topic of fighter pay is stitched into the fabric of everyday MMA discourse. However, six years ago it was far less common. The Diaz brothers’ outspokenness on the subject was ahead of its time and is one of the many reasons they are considered trailblazers of the sport.
In December 2015, Nick Diaz appeared on Chael Sonnen‘s You’re Welcome podcast and spoke out against how the UFC pays their fighters. Our coverage of his comments was published precisely one week after Nate’s iconic callout of Conor McGregor at UFC on FOX 17.
In the podcast appearance, Nick Diaz brought up that his brother Nate earned only $40,000 to compete and win at UFC on FOX 17.
“[Nate’s purse] makes me sick. It makes me sick what I get paid. It makes me sick for what I’ve done in the past. Then you see this guy [McGregor] come out and do really well, and it drives you crazy. [Nate] is stuck in the stone age back there, but I’m trying to help bring him some understanding. It’s a quick fix, though. They really sell him short, both of us. As far as the 20 and 20, these guys are laughing, thinking it’s a joke. No, dude. That’s what he gets paid. You can’t lie to the fans.”
Nick went on to say Nate was the man fans wanted to see step in the Octagon across from McGregor next.
“They know what they want to see. It’s the fight that needs to happen. My brother’s definitely relevant. You can’t just act like he’s not. This fight should probably happen, as far as I’m concerned. You’ve got these other guys that aren’t very popular, even though they’re holding the belt. Belts aren’t important. It’s the fights that are important. Important to the fans, important to the show. That’s more money for everybody.”
During this period, Nick Diaz was serving a five-year suspension by the NSAC after UFC 183. Diaz competed for the first time since 2015 earlier this year against Robbie Lawler at UFC 266. Diaz lost the fight via TKO (retirement).
Today, Nate Diaz is getting paid much more handsomely, beginning with him making good on his callout of McGregor at UFC 196. Since that victory, Nate has been getting the superstar treatment from both fans and arguably the UFC brass as well.
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