Dana White has admitted Nate Diaz has reached the level of Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor stardom in UFC following his win at UFC 241.
After five rounds, Diaz defeated Pettis via unanimous decision at UFC 241 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. This was his first fight in three years and his first win since he fought McGregor at UFC 196 in March 2016.
The Stockton fighter was dominant throughout despite the unanimous decision, earning judges scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for his performance.
Fans inside the Honda Center were louder for Diaz than what they were for UFC 241’s main event fight of Daniel Cormier vs Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight title.
During the post-fight conferences, a reporter told White that he thinks the buzz being generated for Diaz is an indication he’s on the same level of UFC stardom as McGregor and Rousey.
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The UFC President agrees as he said: “Yeah. It’s pretty tough to deny. He’s a needle mover now.”
White also believes the reason why so many people find it easy to back the Stockton native is because he’s the perfect anti-hero.
He said: “Well, I think 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 ‘mother f–ker.’
“Right after the – when he was doing his interview on ESPN. You know, stuff like that. I read this story – I didn’t read this story, I read the headline, from one of the big papers that had written a story about this.
“It said, ‘UFC Needs An Anti-Hero And Here He Is – Nate Diaz.’ It’s true. It’s just, I said it leading up to this fight. He’s the guy that says ‘f–k you to the man,’ but he doesn’t actually say ‘f–k you’ to the man.
“Actually, every time I see him Nate is cool. But he just has this thing that people like.”
Diaz called out his possible next opponent, Jorge Masvidal, during his post-fight interview. Masvidal was in attendance at UFC 241 and was seen smiling from ear to ear when Diaz mentioned his name.
If not Masvidal, the next logical fight for the 34-year-old would have to be completing the trilogy of fights between himself and McGregor, which currently stands at one apiece.