Nate Diaz’s Manager: Nate offered to Fight, UFC not interested.

On August 4, 2014 By

Manager of Nate Diaz, King Mo and Royce Gracie, Mike Kogan returns to Submission Radio to talk about the latest developments in Nate Diaz’s comeback to the UFC….or lack thereof. With talks being non-existent for the time being, Kogan’s only interaction with the UFC has been through his well-publicized Twitter discussion with Dana White. The head of “Real Talk Entertainment” is instrumental however, in making it clear that he approached the UFC a number of times to get Nate back in the octagon with top level talent in the light weight division. Kogan explains how Nate has expressed interests in such fights as the winner of Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller, and as recently as a few weeks ago offered to step up against Josh Thompson at UFC on Fox 12 when Michael Johnson withdrew due to injury. The UFC however did not book those fights, for one reason or another.

Perhaps the UFC are no longer motivated to get Nate Diaz back, seeing as White believes he “doesn’t move the needle”? Kogan assures us that he’s no needle expert, however his numbers present a strong case that Nate Diaz may move the needle a lot more than the UFC are willing to admit.

Kogan also talks about fickle MMA fans, not wanting to take the Diaz situation to social media, the Nate/Diego Sanchez fight, the Nick Diaz/Anderson Silva fight, Scott Coker taking over for Bjorn Rebney, and gives updates on Paul Daley’s VISA and King Mo’s relationship with Bellator ahead of his September 5th fight against Tom DeBlass at Bellator 123.

On if Nate Diaz getting closer to coming back to the UFC and if talks are continuing

“No, right now nobody’s talking to anybody. I mean, Dana made it very clear that Nate should be happy with what he has and he doesn’t see any reason to even discuss it, he’s not really as popular as I guess we believe he is, and that was that, we just kind of stopped there. So right now no, nobody’s talking to anybody.”

On Mike Kogan’s Twitter comments regarding Nate’s ratings/drawing power, and Dana’s comments

“I think the numbers I put up are the numbers that have been announced. I mean I didn’t say anything different than what’s already been said.”

“Dana said Nate had the lowest rated fight in FOX history which is not true, that was Demetrious Johnson. Nate’s fight against (Jim) Miller actually peaked at 3 million views on the same night that (Floyd) Mayweather was fighting and Sugar Shame Mosley was on the undercard, which you know, he’s a name fighter, which means people are going to tune into that undercard fight and not just wait for (Floyd) Mayweather to hit. And on that night, on FOX he did 3 millions views with his fight, you know. He’s not responsible for the rest of the card and the aspects that the show generates, but even the show did 2.4 million average which was higher than the Demetrious Johnson fight did.”

“The latest show which was a phenomenal card. I mean it was a great card, great fights. You know Robbie Lawler fought Matt Brown in the main event it was a great fight. It did 2 million over nights and 2.5 million in total. I mean, if he doesn’t move the needle then neither does anybody else in the UFC, then nobody else should be making any money. So my point was, I just put out the numbers that have been released before, and I said ‘if he doesn’t move the needle than these numbers must not be impressive or they must not move the needles.”

“And then (Donald) Cerrone did a fight with Miller, they were on FS1. I understand (that) it’s not the same number of viewers, because in the U.S. FS1 is available in like 83 million homes and FOX is available on 125 million homes, but we’re also talking about an average rating of 640,000. I mean that’s not moving the needle in my book, but anyway I’m not a needle specialist so I don’t know”

“And there was a video of Dana himself praising that Miller (/Diaz) fight as being great, and hitting all the top demographics, and doing this and that, so I just don’t understand how at that time it was great and now all of a sudden it’s horrible.”

“This thing, it wasn’t supposed to be played out in the media.”

(Mike Kogan comes on at the [36:12] mark)

Thoughts on Dana’s tweet back to Mike calling him a “scum bag” and a “dirt bag” and if it hurt his relationship with the UFC and the negotiations with Nate

“I doubt it, I mean I don’t know, I don’t hold grudges, it’s whatever. Dana probably holds grudges, he probably doesn’t really like me very much but what can I do? Nothing I can do about it.”

“This thing, it wasn’t supposed to be played out in the media. I mean, we tried to have a private conversion a long time ago, and instead of having it, UFC started trashing Nate to media, saying he’s turning down fights, and he’s afraid, and this that and whatever, to which we responded”

“Go track down a single incident in which either Nate or I have said anything that was other than reactionary. Anything that was proactively said. Nothing. Not once. There’s never been an interview or an article where, you know we’re initiating a discussion with the UFC or over media as accreditation. Never, always been reactionary. Our first reaction was when he got accused of being scared of fighting Khabib (Nurmagomedov), and that’s not true. From there on, every time either one of us says anything it’s always as a reaction to something that’s already been said. It’s never been proactive.”

“Now it’s like Jerry springer.”

“If you’re gonna be out there trashing my guy, then I’m gonna say something. I’m not just gonna be sitting back like ‘oh yeah you know, we’re so blessed to be breathing this air’.”

On Nate Diaz not wanting to sit around and take a break.

“Obviously Nate doesn’t want to sit around. He’s a fighter who wants to fight, but at the same time you know, there are circumstances that lead up to this conversation, which we feel are justified and they feel are not. But this conversion didn’t just come out the blue. Nate didn’t just wake up one morning and say ‘hey you know what, I’m just gonna ask for more money and just sit around and not fight’. That’s not how it happened. There were conversations proceeding to this, there were circumstances under which the last contract got signed and promises made there’s a lot of other factors”

“I don’t want people out there thinking that this guy just woke up one morning and decided that you know, he’s just going to do this that and the other.”

“At some point, hopefully we will have some kind of a discussion and something will happen one way or the other. Now that being said, we have offered a number of fights that we were happy to take even with the current structure, but we weren’t given those. I reached out to the UFC before the Donald Cerrone/(Jim) Miller fight even happened and said ‘hey, how about we fight the winner? Nate beat both of them, they’ve both since fought 4 times and won, you know’, and they said ‘oh you know, let’s see how the guys are after the fight, maybe they’re banged up, maybe there not’. Next thing you know, they announce the fight with Khabib. Then Khabib blows his knee like 15 minutes later and now they’re saying he’s gonna be fighting Eddie Alvarez who’s not even signed with the UFC yet. And we asked for that fight when Michael Johnson got injured. We hit up the UFC and said ‘hey we’ll fight Thompson’. That was like 10 day notice, you know. We said maybe ask them if they’ll do like a little higher weight, like a catch-weight, you know like 160 or something, so it’s short notice. And they said ‘no, we have it figured out. Don’t worry about it’. So he’s not just sitting out there and going, you know ‘I don’t wanna fight anybody’ we just don’t wanna fight up and coming young guys and have people build their name off of Nate for the money that he’s getting paid.”

On Mike Kogan’s distain with certain MMA fans

“MMA fans are like the most flip flopping weirdo’s I’ve ever met in my life. They’re sitting around and bitching about fighters not making enough money, UFC being so greedy and blah blah blah blah, and as soon as a fighter starts saying the same thing, then they’re like ‘what are you talking about! You make plenty of money, you have a contract, just shut up and go fight!’. MMA fans are just haters. So no matter what direction you go in, they’ll always go in an opposite direction. So why would I need to worry about what they think? And be like ‘oh you know what, we need to go out there and win their hearts’. You can’t win their hearts, they have no hearts, they have no brains either, they just swing whichever way the wind blows. I’m not saying every single one of them, I mean there’s a lot of people that have emailed and tweeted us and supported Nate, and I thank them for it. But a big majority of people, they’re sitting out there bitching about fighters not getting enough money, and as soon as fighters start bitching about not getting paid enough money, they’re all like ‘what are you talking about. Shut up, you make plenty of money.”

“It’s like listen, why would you say some dumb shit like this. Like ‘oh if you wanna make more money you should just fight more often’. Can you imagine an athlete saying that? Can you imagine somebody in the NFL sitting down to renegotiate a deal and to have a player come out and say ‘well you know what, you should play every game and then you’ll get paid more’. No I’d like to get paid more doing the same amount of work. That’s like working overtime. That’s just so stupid, like where do you even get this logic? Maybe I’ll go join another AFL league or Canadian football league in the off-season so I can make more money, like no that’s not how it works.”

On Cowboy Cerrone fighting often for low pay

“There are fighters out there, you know like Cowboy (Donald Cerrone), and he’s all like ‘well you know, they can just sit around and bitch all they want, I’ll just keep fighting every two days and make all the money in the world”. Why would you want to do that If you can make the same amount of money fighting three times a year? I mean, do you really enjoy getting punched in the face that much? It’s just like, I don’t know, it doesn’t make any sense.”

On Nick Diaz returning

“From what I know, Nick made a three fight deal. He basically waved the contract that he had and made a whole new contract with three fights in it; because he had a bunch of fights left on his contract, but since he moves needles I guess it’s worth renegotiating. So they sat down and redid his deal and he has a three fight deal and his first fight is against Anderson Silva, which is a great fight. I mean who wouldn’t wanna see that?”

On Paul Daley receiving his Visa

“There seems to be no issues. As a matter of a fact, as far as I know, his VISA actually got approved and they’re just waiting on a few documents for him to get together in the UK”

“There’s are no issues with his VISA”

Thoughts on Scott Coker

“I think it’s phenomenal. He hasn’t really even started to scratch the surface, you know of what Bellator 2.0’s gonna look like. I mean, that’s gonna take probably two, three years before you really start to see a monumental change.”

On how King Mo feels about Scott taking over the company and if he’s happy with the change

“Yeah, he is beyond excited. You know the truth is everybody’s really excited. I have yet to meet somebody who’s not excited about it. I think some people are more reserved in their comments than (King) Mo is, or I am for that matter, but I have yet to meet anybody who was unhappy. It’s positive change, how could you be unhappy about it.”

Bjorn’s impact on Bellator

“Bjorn has left, kind of a really dark foot print on Bellator. Not just with us but many other fighters, I mean it’s just the way he operated things”

“he would plot evil shit in his head, and you’d just be like ‘wow how do you even think this kind of stuff”

If Mike believes that Bjorn was biased to certain fighters during his run as President

“Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean I said it to Bjorn before Mo ever said to anybody.”
“The truth of the matter is, without getting into too much detail, all of those issues that people have had with Bjorn, all the weirdness and all the crazy stuff going on, that was of his own making. Nobody else made it but him. You know what I mean. He was just a really, really short sited person. He only saw like three feet in front of him and that was it. He didn’t see anything beyond that.”

“90% of the MMA industry is all about relationships, most of the business is all about relationships. And he would just create these environments where it was impossible to have a relationship, and it was just weird, just, I don’t know. It was a little weird to be honest with you. I’ve never met somebody this evil minded. Like, he was evil minded. Like, he would plot evil shit in his head, and you’d just be like ‘wow how do you even think this kind of stuff.”

On Jason High’s appeal

“We went through the process and the appeal date itself is August 12th”

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