Nate Diaz has always had a strong cult following ever since entering the UFC by becoming the winner of the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter. In fact, Diaz’s entire MMA career has taken place under Zuffa, which is a very rare statement to make and one that only he can make as someone still actively fighting in the company after 18 years.
Diaz’s stardom is in large part due to his effortless work as a self-promoter and it’s also largely due to his sequel with Conor McGregor, in which the Stockton star was able to earn a submission victory.
But by this day three years ago, Rogan believed that the UFC was finally recognizing that Diaz’s star power was not limited to his feud with Conor McGregor.
It just so happens that despite Rogan’s praise for the UFC’s treatment of Diaz three years ago, the Stockton native has been at odds with the promotion for several months now, culminating in his fight this upcoming Saturday against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279.
With this being the final fight on Diaz’s contract after he refused to re-sign with the promotion, many people are convinced that the UFC pairing him against the #3-ranked, undefeated Chimaev is a way of showing him out the door with malice. Others might argue that placing him in the main event despite losing his last two fights is the type of superstar treatment Rogan is referencing in the following article.
The following article is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA news Archives.
On This Day Three Years Ago…
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 4, 2019, 2:00 PM]
Headline: Joe Rogan Says UFC Is ‘Finally Recognizing’ Nate Diaz As A Star
Author: Fernando Quiles Jr.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan believes the UFC now understands the level of stardom Nate Diaz has.
Diaz had been at odds with the UFC over his drawing ability. UFC president Dana White wasn’t sold on Diaz being a draw without Conor McGregor as his opponent. The Stockton native sat out for three years before making his return at UFC 241. The event brought in a record live gate for MMA events in the state of California.
Rogan Says UFC Recognizes Diaz’s Star Power Now
During a new edition of the Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan discussed the UFC’s realization of Diaz’s drawing ability (via BJPenn.com).
“I’m just happy that the UFC is finally recognizing the love and support [Diaz] has from the fans,” Rogan said. “For whatever reason, they were so high on Conor McGregor and these other people that they didn’t see [it]. One of the reasons that the Conor fight was so big was because of Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz is a f**ing star. When they put is face on the screen for the Pettis fight, the arena erupted. It was chaos. They went nuts.”
Rogan also made note that he feels there was a time when Nate’s brother Nick was the one getting the attention.
“I think he was a little overshadowed by his brother, too,” Rogan said. “His brother, when he was fighting in Strikeforce in particular, was one of the best fighters in the world. He was just amazing. During his title reign, when he was at his peak and fighting in Strikeforce […] Nate just flew under the radar.”