Pundits, including fighters like Leon Edwards and Dan Hardy, have started to speak out about the way Nate Diaz’s contract situation and final opponent was booked.
Dana White has since responded to both fighters, and defended their decision to book Diaz against Khamzat Chimaev after months of being locked in a contract dispute.
“I love when fighters, or other people, or anybody else, gives us advice on this incredibly successful business that we’ve built,” White told Yahoo Sports. “It cracks me up.”
For what it’s worth, the criticism was never really about UFC’s bottom line, as it’s clear that propping up a young guy like Chimaev before a disgruntled superstar leaves could only help the UFC in the long run. White did put the blame on these long negotiations on Diaz though.
“So, I’m looking at [matching Diaz with] Francis Ngannou or Khamzat Chimaev, and a couple of other ones that were not good, either. I’m going to take Khamzat,” White said.
“I can tell you this: Leon Edwards, Dan Hardy and anybody else who is out there yapping has never dealt with the Diaz brothers. It’s a very unique experience. It takes a very long f—ing time. We got through it and here we are. It’s a very popular fight that people want to see, that people like and everybody’s getting what they want. Dan Hardy and Leon Edwards don’t have to watch it. They can go to the movies that night.”
Diaz has been booked against Chimaev at UFC 279.