Nate Diaz manager: 'We're just kinda all in limbo'


Nate Diaz signed an eight fight contract with the UFC in 2012, prior to his title shot with Benson Henderson.

In Mid Feb of this year, contract negotiations between the UFC and Gil Melendez broke down. Melendez came to terms with Bellator, and the UFC exerted their right to match the contract.

Fortunately for Melendez, the contract with Bellator was remarkably favorable, offering for example points on a pay per view at a very low threshhold, that the UFC was then obliged to match. Further, Melendez earns points on the PPV, regardless of whether he is the main even, the co main, or simply on the main card. Further, 75% of his fights have to be on PPV. Bellator could presumably be generous with these terms as they had not a PPV to date, and if they had, high buys were not anticipated.

Melendez and Diaz are both Cesar Gracie trained lightweights, and presumably when Diaz heard that Melendez had gotten one of the best contracts in UFC history, he looked at his contract in a different light.

In April he tweeted that he wanted to be released from his contract with the UFC.

Diaz then did an extended interview with Ariel Helwani for MMAFighting.

"My contract is all f---ed up," said Diaz. "I want to be paid like these other fighters. I'm over here getting chump change. At this point, they're paying all my partners and other people I train with are getting real money, and it's too embarrassing for me to even fight again for the money they're paying me. So they can either pay me or let me go. I'm with that."

"I don't get paid s---, and I'm about to tell the world. I didn't like what my brother and my partners got paid. Now that they got a better contract, which still ain't s---, it blows what I get out of the water. And they deserve triple what they get. I've been in the UFC for eight years and never turned down a fight. It's not like I'm getting paid 20 bucks an hour and they're getting 50 bucks an hour. I'm getting 20 bucks an hour and they're getting paid 15,000 bucks an hour. They blow me out the water."

"My partners still make s--- money for what the company is bringing in. They're happy because they're not getting paid what they used to get paid, so they get little chunks to shut up. As far as I'm concerned, I don't get paid s--- I get $60,000 and $60,000. If I were doing this for the fame, I would have quit seven years ago. I can't tell you what my brother and Gil make, but I can tell you that they signed a contract for more than I get paid to headline and win a fight, and that's bulls---. So you understand where I'm coming from? I can't even fight for the money they're offering me. So I ask to get released because I can't fight there for that.

"When I signed my last contract, they conned me into signing an eight-fight contract to fight Henderson. I was negotiating my contract three weeks out from the fight. [Manager] Mike [Kogan] came in and got me a little bit of a raise - a little - they act like they hooked me up. They didn't do s---. They gave me a little something to shut me up for a minute, got me to sign the contract, but the way they got me to sign the contract was like, Just trust me, sign the contract, and we can renegotiate anytime. I was like, I'll just fight a couple of fights and then talk some s--- because I don't like this contract. So I'll renegotiate in a couple of fights because they told me I could do that. Then they called me to take the Khabib fight when it wasn't working out for them and Gil. They were trying to lowball Gil, too, and he was supposed to fight Khabib, but he said he couldn't take the fight for the money they were offering. So they call me the next day and ask me to fight Khabib. I said, I'll take the fight as long as I can renegotiate my contract. And then it was all downhill from there. Then they tweeted out that I turned down the fight, and I never turned down the fight. They tried to do me dirty.

"If I can get released, I can go fight somewhere and make some money. If they can renegotiate, I can make some money, because right now I'm broke. For some reason, the IRS is telling me that I owe them more money than I have right now, and I pay my taxes every year."

UFC president Dana White has said several times that Diaz needs to honor the contract he signed.

"He was happy as can be when he signed his new deal," Said White. "Go back and look at my twitter after he signed the new deal. I tweeted it. He was happy. We've done everything to honor the contract. I've always been good to Diaz. This is the kind of craziness you see with athletes. They end up spinning off and don't make the money they should have made. Nate Diaz has what it takes to be champion or he doesn't, but I'll tell you, there's only one way to find out. He has to come back and fight. He thinks he loses to two of the best guys in the world and deserves more money? In what f---ing planet does that make sense?"

For the past couple of months, the situation has not changed. Diaz does not want to fight for the contracted amount, so the situation is frozen

Nate Diaz's manager Mike Kogan recently appeared on Submission Radio, and discussed contract negotiations with the UFC.

"We asked to sit down and have a conversation about our contract and they said no," said Kogan as transcribed by BloodyElbow. "So we said OK, then we'll sit out and wait until you know, something changes. We're just kinda all in limbo. Hopefully we'll sit down and have a productive conversation. So far, all of our interaction has been through media, you know we say something and then they say something and we say something. We're yet to actually have a conversation.

"I had a brief conversation with Joe Silva and he said 'well that's not going to happen' so I said 'okay sounds good' so we'll just wait. Wait and see, but we don't have a specific goal, we just want to be able to have a conversation and see what happens. Nate will be open to fighting anywhere where he's paid the most and where his stock has the most value, but we are under contract with the UFC so it doesn't really matter."

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Recent Comments »

orcus site profile image  

5/13/14 3:53 PM by orcus

Funnily enough, BEN Henderson DID successfully renegotiate his contract when he found out how much Gil would be making -- and he was very pleased with the result.Maybe Nate should learn from that that when you're actually winning you're fights, and a previous or current beltholder, you have a bit more leverage than when you're 1-2 on your 8 fight deal.

SupesUp site profile image  

5/13/14 1:46 PM by SupesUp

I'm not sure why in every one of these threads you show up and talk about how diaz is right because these contracts are bullshit. These contracts are what they are. No one was forced to go into mma. It's a career choice. We get it, when you're in a ufc contract they can ditch you if they are done with you or can hold you to your end if you're unhappy with it. Randy Fucking couture wanted out of his contract to go fight elsewhere, how did that go for him? Sorry but nate diaz is not even randy.

rkm456 site profile image  

5/13/14 11:27 AM by rkm456

You'd have to pay a heavy early closing penalty in order to renegotiate a mortgage, and to "drop your house to the bank" is going to destroy your credit and amount to financial suicide.His joke wasn't great, but mortgages are one of the more ironclad contracts that a regular joe is ever going to sign.Cell phone contracts, now that shit's easy to get out of.

BigEyedFish site profile image  

5/12/14 2:44 PM by BigEyedFish

MMA watcher to Nate Diaz Manager:  Get clients that act like professionals and not children.  

Standup29 site profile image  

5/12/14 2:39 PM by Standup29


joe canada site profile image  

5/12/14 1:22 PM by joe canada

As an aside: they're not 'in limbo'.The asked to renegotiate, the UFC said no. How is that 'in limbo'.What they are is 'under contract'.Am tired of hearing fighters bitch and moan about pay when they're not prepared to at the very least form an association and reveal contract information among themselves.Couture was THE marquee player -- why didn't he get together with a few other guys like Chuck and Hughes and get something started while he still had the juice to do it? Same with Tito.All the props in the world for these guys holding out for more money, but if you're not prepared to stick up for the little guys while you're on top, don't expect much sympathy on the way down.Same with the Diaz bros, only worse: You had a fight coming up and felt forced to sign? Dude -- you'll never have more negotiating power than right then. So you sign an 8 fight deal instead? You and your manager squandered your negotiating opportunity. Want another one? Go kick the shit out of someone in marquee fashion.Thing Diaz et al have to realize is that if Dana knuckles under to them, it sets the precedent for everyone else. And he didn't knuckle under for Henderson, did he?

thelorn420 site profile image  

5/11/14 10:46 PM by thelorn420

Fake snow at Dana's come Christmas, make sure to stop by with your family to take pictures for your Christmas cards.

The Sultan site profile image  

5/11/14 2:21 PM by The Sultan

Diaz cant get out of his contract and go somewhere else.Melendez was negotiating a new contract and could have left of he wanted to. Diaz is stuck. And even if he decides to stay, they can shelf him to teach him a lesson....they can easily keep him on the shelf for months at a time in between fights. They could keep him waiting a year if they want to draw blood.

The Sultan site profile image  

5/11/14 2:13 PM by The Sultan

Exactly. Its not that simple as you signed the contract. There are a lot of factors to consider. - The contracts are grossly one sided. - It has been stated that the UFC uses pressure tactics to get the signature.- In Diaz's case, he claims that the ufc stated he could renoegotiate later. Granted, he should have renegotiated after a win streak instead of at being 1-2 in his last 3 outings.I believe Diaz should get more money. Hes exciting, will fight whoever they put in front of him and has wins against great top fighters. The problem is that we are at a stalemate now. The UFC will continue to march on without Diaz and they arent worried about him withering on the vine. If Diaz gives in, hes going to lose face and we all know the ufc will not give in, because it sends a message that they can be leveraged. More fighters will start doing exactly what Diaz did if that was the case.I hope this gets resolved because we are losing extremely great fights that could happen between Diaz and numerous fighters on the roster. As a side note, i dont think Diazs manager is helping the situation. He seems like hes the one fuxking up the negotiations and turning this thing sour.

rockfists site profile image  

5/11/14 1:33 PM by rockfists

And he could get out. Not sure the point of that comment but actual fair contracts are not one sided like the UFC or the record business.If he felt his mortgage was bullshit he could refinance his loan. Or he could drop the fucking house and let the bank have it.Dumb comment. Fans working against the fighters and for the Don Kings. Amazing.