Home MMA Dana White Praises Nate Diaz: “He’s A Needle-Mover Now”

Dana White Praises Nate Diaz: “He’s A Needle-Mover Now”

Dana White has backtracked on an infamous comment he made about UFC 241 star Nate Diaz a few years ago after his triumphant return last night.

For quite some time, Nate lived in the shadow of his brother – the former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz, a man who shared the octagon with superstars such as Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.

UFC president Dana White once criticised the younger Diaz brother for ‘not being a needle-mover’ like his brother but in recent times, we’re sure that Nate has gotten quite a lot of satisfaction after completely and utterly proving the head-honcho wrong.

Speaking during the UFC 241 post-fight press conference, White explained how impressed he was Nate’s ability to shake off his ring-rust and build on his momentum as the fight went on.

“[Pettis] an unbelievable ex-champion who has looked ridiculous in his last couple of fights. And you have to talk about the lay off…you have to talk about that this kid hasn’t fought in three years.”

“[Diaz] looked a little rough in the first round, like he gassed out at the end of the first round too and then he completely changed his game plan and started to fight his fight. Once he got there he basically did what he wanted against one of the top-ten guys in the world after a three-year layoff…pretty damn impressive.”

When asked if he believes Nate to be a superstar in the vein of a Conor McGregor or a Ronda Rousey, White seemed to have high hopes for his potential star-power.

“Yeah…it’s pretty tough to deny.

“He’s a needle-mover now.

“It’s stuff like…I did the fighter meeting and I specifically told him not to swear on ESPN. He looked right at me and said ‘motherf*cker’ right after when he was doing his interview on ESPN. Stuff like that…I read this story…I didn’t read the story…I read the headline of one of these newspaper stories on this and it said: ‘UFC needs an anti-hero and here he is…Nate Diaz’ — it’s true.

“I said it leading up to this fight, he’s the guy that says ‘f*ck you’ to the man, but he never really says ‘f*ck you’ to the man. Every time I see him Nate is always cool. He just has this thing that people like.”

About Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at cillian@punditarena.com.