Nate Diaz has built himself a strong reputation and hardcore following during his years in MMA, but his star profile reached new levels when he choked out Conor McGregor at UFC 196 earlier this month.
“I think I’ve always gotten the recognition with the fans,” Diaz said on UFC Tonight. “The mainstream media and UFC, it’s pouring in now.”
With McGregor vs. Diaz reportedly pulling in record numbers for the UFC, there are strong rumors of an immediate rematch between the two being set up for UFC 200 in July.
“It’s a real fight. People want to see it,” Diaz said. “When you get a real fight, people appreciate it. If he wants it and UFC wants it, let’s run it back. If not, whatever. I’m here to fight the best fighters in the world.”
However, unlike their first fight which was made on short notice and contested at 170lb, Diaz wants the rematch to be held one weight class below at his usual home in the lightweight division.
“If there’s a second fight, I’ll fight at (155lb). I’d like to be in shape. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear no excuses. I’ll make ’55. I was planning on making ’55 last time.”
After Diaz handed UFC featherweight champ McGregor his first loss since 2010, there were many who called for Nick Diaz’s younger brother to be given a title shot – some said at 155lb, while others made a case for Nate to challenge 170lb champ Robbie Lawler who his brother holds a KO win over. But, after getting his first taste of life as a millionaire, Nate seems much more interested in big-money fights than he does in challenging for any championship.
“I think that title thing is a fairy tale. The best fighters in the world are getting paid the best money. The belt is a fairy tale, as far as I’m concerned. That might piss a lot of people off.”