NEW YORK – Nate Diaz has never thought much about belts, so for what reason should that change now?
With or without a glossy gold knickknack, Diaz sees himself as the game’s “BMF.” It’s constantly been that way. In his psyche, he comes to battle more frequently than any other person – that is “BMF” status.
“To be honest with you, I don’t care about the belt,” Diaz told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden following their open workout Wednesday. “The belt just had to add to it. The whole time, the belt is just a credential for all these guys to think they’re ahead of the game, ahead of everybody in the game. I’m like, ‘I already know I’m ahead of the game, anyways.’ I’ve never chased a belt.”
“My whole career, I was never after the belt. I was just after a fight, a win. BJ Penn was a champion forever when I was (coming up). I had a lot of respect for him. I grew up watching him. So I was never hunting him down. I was just fighting, showing everybody I was the best fighter. I was never chasing a belt like the rest of these guys.”
Diaz concluded their idea, “So now, a belt just comes with it, I guess. The belt’s already mine anyways. I’m the one who created it.”
Enthusiastic and fit to be finished with the media commitments which accompany a significant occasion in one of the world’s preeminent battle scenes, the Stockton, Calif. local said they wished it was battle day.
Rather, Diaz (20-11 MMA, 15-9 UFC) should hold up until Saturday to put on the gloves and toss down with Jorge Masvidal (34-13 MMA, 11-6 UFC) at Madison Square Garden in the UFC 244 headliner.
“I’m far from excited at all the more of this (media) there is,” Diaz said. “It makes me just want to get to the point, get done, and get out of here. It comes with the territory, but it’s all good. I can deal with it. What day is it? Wednesday? I wish it was Friday or Saturday already.”
Devotees of the UFC may believe it’s insane how history carried us to this point. Diaz and Masvidal – two OG’s of the game, meeting in an impossible matchup in one of the UFC’s marquee occasions of the year for a one-time-just “BMF” title. The just a single unsurprised by this is Diaz theirself.
“I knew personally before he had his last fight a long time ago,” Diaz said. “… If I was a fan of the sport, I’d want to see me versus Masvidal or Masvidal versus my brother. Because everybody else is weak and whack. There are some great fighters out there – great attitudes, great personalities and all that. But as far as straight up fighting – what we all tuned in for initially anyways – I figure if anyone was paying close enough attention, the best fight you could probably imagine would be me and him.”
Diaz perceives Masvidal’s “BMF” status. However, past “Gambred,” there aren’t many “BMF’s” who stick out to Diaz. All together for the following challenger to get a turn the recently stamped title, Diaz said contenders need to begin demonstrating their value and believability.
“Look, anybody who fights me, it’s going to be like this,” Diaz said. “This is what it is. Baddest (expletive), that’s what I already am. I don’t need that. I was just letting it be known and now it’s on a large scale. Win, lose, belt, no belt – every fight I fight is going to be the biggest fight. The baddest (expletive) fight. Because I ain’t fighting no suckers. No more. Anymore. I said that years ago, just not to you guys. I ain’t fighting no more suckers.”
“… They’re going to have to bring some attention to themselves to make us recognize. We’ve gotta hear them. I’ve gotta hear them. I’ve said that before. It’s like, you want to fight? We better hear it. We better see it. You better do something impressive. Something good. That’s what I’m doing. I’m fighting the guys who are doing something good. I would expect the same.”
UFC 244 happens Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The principle card show on pay-per-see following prelims on ESPN2 and ESPN2/ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.