While nothing is confirmed yet, the hot talk coming out of Mayweather vs. McGregor weekend is that Nate Diaz will be Conor McGregor’s next opponent. The two have a history together, with Nate choking Conor out in their first bout and Conor inching out a decision in their rematch. Both fights ended up breaking the UFC’s all-time records for biggest pay-per-view, so a third fight is a no-brainer.
Unfortunately for the UFC, Nate Diaz knows this, knows how much he deserves to make off of it, and he’s not willing to settle for any less than his fair share the third time around. Diaz’s boxing coach Richard Perez made that abundantly clear when he laid down, in very simple terms, what it will take to make Diaz sign on the dotted line for the trilogy fight.
“At least $20 to 30 million,” he told Submission Radio bluntly. “Come on. UFC’s making a whole lot of money, a whole lot of money and they’re pocketing it. They’re giving more to McGregor, so it’s not fair because it takes two in that ring to draw a crowd – I mean, a good two fighters.”
“It’s just like Mayweather when he fought Berto. It was not even sold out at all. It was embarrassing. It’s because that guy couldn’t draw a crowd. See, that’s what I’m saying, it’s the fighters that draw the crowd, and Nathan and McGregor, third one would be outstanding. Everyone knows that.”
“So he needs to get paid at least $30 million easy.”
This is going to be a bitter pill for the UFC to swallow. A meeting in Stockton to work out McGregor-Diaz 2 ended in a shouting match and UFC president Dana White storming out. When a deal was finally made, it involved letting Nate Diaz ‘Stockton Slap’ White upside the head.
But the numbers don’t lie: the two McGregor fights with Diaz were massive, and Nate’s involvement clearly pushed the numbers up higher because he’s the perfect foil for the brash, showy McGregor. He could have easily started selling a ton of pay-per-views for the UFC … if the promotion had been willing to pony up the money Nate deserved. As usual, the notoriously cheap company didn’t, so Nate’s been on the sidelines ever since.
The UFC needs to stop being so stingy when it comes to their top fighters. Maybe the reason they can’t seem to grow that many new stars is because they end up at war with any fighter that dares to demand a fair piece of the pie. If they want superstars, they’re going to have to start paying for them. And given how much guys like Conor McGregor still make for them, that’s not a bad thing, either.