"Well, why don’t you make a fight?’ Well, he asked for Francis Ngannou. I could go on forever, but I won’t."
Dana White said that despite a challenging negotiation time with the star, the fight is what he wanted. The UFC has faced criticism for scheduling what many people consider as a mismatch for Nate Diaz’ farewell fight in the UFC versus Khamzat Chimaev. White told reporters “I care about Nate a lot. I like Nate, and Nate came in here, long before that fight was ever made, and we were talking about it being his last fight, and I said,
‘Listen, kid. You think about the wars that Nate Diaz has put on and the incredible fights and the big fights that he’s done with us, go do whatever you want to do, man. But getting a fight done with him isn’t as easy as seems. Everybody’s like, ‘Well, why don’t you make a fight?’ Well, he asked for Francis Ngannou. I could go on forever, but I won’t. We got it done. That’s the fight he wanted.”
White claims that the UFC never even contemplated a bout with Conor McGregor since “The Notorious” was sidelined with a broken leg when Diaz recently alleged that the organisation was holding him “hostage” until they could orchestrate a lucrative third battle between the two fighters.
“Conor’s not ready yet,” White said. “Conor’s leg isn’t healed yet. Nate could obviously sit around and wait for that, but he doesn’t want it. I don’t know what he’s got planned or what he’s thinking, but right here, right now, he’s ready to fight. He wants to go, and we’re going. That’s one of those fights you can do any time, but no, it never worked out that way. Listen, if you get two guys like Conor and Nate, who want to fight each other bad enough, it ends up happening.”
White also rejected claims that he was frustrated he couldn’t put that trilogy bout together. “No, it’s not like, ‘Oh God, I never got the chance to make No. 3. The first two were awesome. That first round with Conor and Nate in the first fight was insane. Conor was landing these crazy bombs, then Diaz comes out in that second round. It was madness, and then the second fight was awesome. If it happens, it happens, but we got enough out of the first two.”