MENU
#Bellator 185 #Gegard Mousasi #Alexander Shlemenko #Bellator MMA #Kristina Williams #Heather Hardy #Neiman Gracie #Zak Bucia #Conor McGregor #UFC 216 #UFC Fight Night 118 #Anthony Ferguson


Nate Diaz and the Quandary of Being Just Good Enough Not to Be Needed

Nate Diaz is exciting.

Nate Diaz is entertaining.

Nate Diaz is beloved.

Those are almost mathematically proven truths in the UFC, premises on which any argument relevant to the promotion or the sport could be strongly made.

Here's another: Nate Diaz is not needed.

Fans, media and even other fighters might not love that fact. They might not enjoy coming to grips with the reality that Diaz could be gone from the UFC tomorrow and it wouldn't really change anything, but it is indeed a reality.

The promotion proved as much in handling Diaz's recent game of contractual chicken, one where he swore he'd never fight for them again without a substantial pay raise.

There's no evidence that raise ever came, yet Diaz is ready to return to action if Dana White is to be believed. That's a tenuous proposition, admittedly, given White's history of advertising Diaz in positions he hasn't agreed to or lambasting him for things he may or may not have actually said.

Let's take it at face value, though. If the UFC says it and no one is out there to correct it or temper it with an alternate take, we basically have to.

That's a harsh truth of the game, one that's been founded on three letters and a bullheaded commitment to putting those letters above all else. Yes, as far as White and the Fertittas are concerned, U-F-C is the star and the guys in the cage are the supporting cast.

Diaz is part of that cast, and that cast is interchangeable. He's as expendable as Jon Fitch or Jake Shields were before him, even if the promotion enjoys his antics and style more than they did the others.

Sure, there are fighters that could push the envelope and get paid. Some, like Gilbert Melendez, have. The UFC could never do without Jon Jones or Ronda Rousey at this point. It's having a hard time doing without Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.

The problem is that Diaz is a step below those individuals in terms of stardom or success, or both, and that makes him a prime guy to be made an example of.

Don't like your contract? Sit out forever, we don't care. We're the UFC and we're bigger than one fighter, we don't need you.

Who makes sense for Nate Diaz's return fight?

That's the answer Diaz is getting, because he's not a champion and he's not enough of a draw to cost the UFC money by making a stand. It's not the answer that a proper superstar would get (though White would likely never admit that in public), but those fighters live on different terms.

Therein lies the quandary for Diaz: He's only good enough to not be needed. For all the bluster his protest caused, nothing really changed in the UFC. They waited him out, but they easily could have released him to Bellator or WSOF and not much would have been different.

People might have said they'd never watch again, comment sections and messageboards might have blown up for a day or two, but at the end of the day people would have kept on buying pay-per-views and tuning into FOX the same as always.

In some ways that's truly horrible. Even if Diaz signed the deal himself, one can't help but feel some sympathy for a guy trying to break a little off and being completely stomped on by a corporate giant for his efforts.

But that's the nature of the beast. That's the way the UFC has built its business, and its the game every fighter plays when he signs with them. Your brand can be whatever it becomes, but more than likely it's not going to be a brand that the UFC can't live without.

That generally means you're a guy who's exciting, entertaining and beloved, something of a star in your own corner of the sports world, who has to do it exactly like the rest of us: get up and go to work, even if you don't really want to.

It's the quandary of being just good enough to not be needed, and it's exactly why Nate Diaz will be back in the cage before you know it without a thing to show for his absence.

Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder!

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Galleries

Nate Diaz Fights

  • a year ago
  • 12823 views

Comments

Show Comments

Related News

Aaron Pico's emphatic Bellator 183 KO just what he needed after that awful debut

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

After a quick submission loss in his pro debut, hyped prospect Aaron Pico said “‘(expletive) this, I’m coming back,'” which he did in a big way.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos read news >>

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 at UFC 219 in Las Vegas? Dana White says nope

  • 26 days ago
  • 73 views

Excited about the Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz rubber match trilogy fight at UFC 219 in December? Dana White says you should pump the brakesFiled under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC read news >>

Dana White Responds to Reports of Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 at UFC 219 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago
  • 55 views

Conor McGregor may very well be plotting his return to the Octagon but reports that he's agreed to meet Nate Diaz at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 are premature. Several outlets began reporting over the weekend read news >>

UFC's Gilbert Burns discusses tough, but needed reassessment after painful loss a year ago

  • 25 days ago
  • 11 views

UFC lightweight Gilbert Burns returned with a vengeance earlier this month. But getting back on track, he says, was not an easy process. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3: The Only Fight to Make

  • 24 days ago
  • 10 views

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz? In the words of Diaz, I'm not surprised. This is destiny, or at least something like it. I've long written that McGregor would never return to the Octagon after his Mayw read news >>

John Kavanagh Wants Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 on St. Patrick's Day

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

If Conor McGregor's coach John Kavanagh had his druthers, The Notorious would square off against Nate Diaz in a rubber match on St. Patrick's Day. "If it was my choice, and I must stress that this is read news >>

Coach Wants Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 for St. Paddy's Day | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 11 views

With a fight by the end of 2017 apparently off the table, Conor McGregor's coach wants a fight with Nate Diaz on Saint Patrick's Day. read news >>

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 on St. Patrick's Day makes sense to John Kavanagh. Sure, why not?

  • 23 days ago
  • 11 views

If it was up to Conor McGregor’s coach, the UFC lightweight champion and Nate Diaz would complete their trilogy early next year.Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC read news >>

Tony Ferguson warns if UFC books Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz 3, 'fans will be pissed'

  • 22 days ago
  • 39 views

No great surprise, but Tony Ferguson doesn’t like the idea of a rubber match between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Tony Ferguson Bashes The Possibility of Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 74 views

Top UFC lightweight contender Tony Ferguson will take on seventh ranked Kevin Lee for the interim 155-pound title in the UFC 216 main event on October 7. read news >>