UFC boss Dana White: I've always had a good relationship with Nate Diaz

LAS VEGAS – Nate Diaz never has been shy about publicly airing his beefs with his bosses at the UFC.

Most recently, Diaz has had a belief the UFC neglected him following his loss to Conor McGregor in their UFC 202 rematch in 2016 and continued to promote McGregor over him.

So Diaz walked away. Nearly three years have gone by since that fight. Now Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) finally returns Saturday in a welterweight fight against Anthony Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) at UFC 241 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

It seems Diaz has grabbed many of the headlines upon his return. But where does UFC president Dana White stand with Diaz? White says it’s not as bad as most think.

“It’s funny – I did this interview the other day about Nate,” White said after Dana White’s Contender Series 24 on Tuesday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. “Nate’s one of these guys that, he has this personality where it’s like he’s saying ‘(expletive) you’ to The Man, but he never says ‘(expletive) you’ to The Man. Every time I’m around Nate, he’s a good kid, and I’ve always had a good relationship with Nate, a personal relationship with Nate.

“He’s tough to deal with on the business side, but personally he’s a good guy. And whatever you want to say about the Diaz brothers, when they say they’re gonna fight, they sign the bout agreement, and they show up and they fight. So I don’t see any problems.”

It was a matter of respect for Diaz after his rematch with McGregor. He thinks the UFC hasn’t given him his due. Since narrowly edging out Diaz in the rematch, McGregor went on to challenge Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title and beat him with a second-round TKO to become a dual champion. That status led to a crossover boxing match fight with undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, which ended in a 10th-round TKO loss, but made McGregor reportedly in the neighborhood of $100 million

Diaz feels like he’s been put to the side while he watched the UFC continue to push McGregor’s rise. While he was out, he wondered why no one was shooting their shot and trying to fight him, just like he did with McGregor, a move that ended up setting Diaz up for stardom.

The prevailing notion has been that in the several years Diaz was inactive, he’s been turning down fights, but Diaz recently said the UFC never offered him anyone worthy in his eyes.

He was scheduled to face Dustin Poirier in the co-main event of this past November’s UFC 230, but Poirier was forced out due to injury and the fight was scrapped.

As he waited on the sidelines, three years went by, and Diaz eventually realized he wasn’t going to win this battle by sitting out.

“I think the part of not fighting, the fight wasn’t with the fighters no more, they’re not on my level,” Diaz recently told ESPN.com. “The fight was with the whole organization, the whole thing. I’m like, I’m losing this fight if I’m just going to sit here and die off in this little town.”

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