Still no end to Diaz brothers holdout in sight; Jones-Gustafsson II in Sweden?
BALTIMORE — Nate Diaz might be ready to fight, but that doesn’t mean his return to the Octagon is imminent.
UFC president Dana White said in his post-UFC 172 scrum Saturday night that Diaz spoke to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva this weekend and said he was "ready to fight." Diaz’s manager Mike Kogan, though, told FOX Sports that nothing has changed about Diaz’s demands for a restructured contract.
"Nate is always ready to fight," Kogan said. "When did he say he wasn’t? He’s just asking to revisit his contract terms."
Diaz went off in a lengthy rant to MMA Fighting earlier this month, saying he was "conned" into signing his contract and that he’s receiving "chump change." Diaz, who was in Baltimore this weekend in the corner of training partner Yancy Medeiros, is making $60,000 to show and $60,000 to win.
"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," Diaz said. "So they can either pay me or let me go. I’m with that. … I don’t get paid s**t, and I’m about to tell the world."
Nate is always ready to fight. When did he say he wasn’t? He’s just asking to revisit his contract terms.
-Mike Kogan, Nate Diaz's manager
Diaz’s brother Nick is also holding out, telling MMA Fighting that he won’t return until he gets $500,000 per fight or a title shot against welterweight champion Johny Hendricks. White said Saturday night that he has not heard from Nick Diaz.
"Nick’s got a lot of money, man," White said. "I think Nick is just gonna kick back until he has to fight.
White: Jones-Gustafsson II could happen in Sweden
Jon Jones just beat Glover Teixeira, but White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have already discussed the impending, huge Jones-Alexander Gustafsson rematch. And it could take place in a stadium in Gustafsson’s home country of Sweden, White said Saturday night. The show would start at 4 a.m. Sweden time and air at the normal time in the United States if it happens, according to White.
As for Jones possibly having a problem with defending his belt on the challenger’s turf, White didn’t think it would be an issue.
"Jon is going to agree to whatever fight we make," White said. "What’s Jon going to agree to? Where’s he going to want to fight? Seattle? … Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. We don’t ever have people say, this is where I’m going to fight my fight. Never happen. Won’t happen. We gotta take the fight wherever the fight would do best."
Las Vegas is another possibility for the fight and White said it’ll do a "massive" gate wherever it ends up.
Belfort not out of the woods yet
Vitor Belfort told MMA Fighting this week that he did drug testing on his own, testosterone is out of his system and he’s ready to get back to fighting — preferably at UFC 175 in July against Chris Weidman.
Not so fast, said White.
Belfort still needs to be cleared by the Nevada Athletic Commission before he can fight and there’s no chance of that happening in time for July 5. Belfort was using TRT, which was banned earlier this year by Nevada and essentially everywhere else. The UFC pulled him from his title shot against Weidman when the fight was still targeted for May 24.
"He’s got a lot of work to do," White said. "That s**t doesn’t just happen like that. He’s gotta get on the agenda. … He’s fooling himself if that’s what he really thinks, that he took a couple home tests and he’s ready to roll, whatever he did. He’s always fun, man. He’s hilarious."
White said that he texted Belfort this weekend asking him if that was still his correct cell phone number. Belfort replied that it was, but White said he hasn’t heard from him since.
What prompted the Arlovski return?
Andrei Arlovski’s people approached White and asked if he could get another chance in the UFC. White said he has always liked Arlovski and he’s on a winning streak, so he re-signed the heavyweight legend. Arlovski meets Brendan Schaub at UFC 174 on June 14 in Vancouver.
"The window is closing for Andrei Arlovski," White said. "They really wanted to fight."