Dana White Admits Nate Diaz Is A ‘Needle Mover’ After UFC 241
Dana White is now a believer in Nate Diaz’s drawing ability.
Diaz had been out of action since Aug. 2016 going into his welterweight bout with Anthony Pettis last night (Aug. 17). Diaz and Pettis collided in the co-main event of UFC 241. Ring rust be damned, Diaz turned in a stellar performance utilizing his striking and grappling for the unanimous decision victory.
White Says Diaz Is A Draw
UFC president White spoke to reporters during the UFC 241 post-fight press conference. When asked about Diaz’s star power, White couldn’t deny that the Stockton native has the “it” factor (via Bloody Elbow).
“Yeah, pretty tough to deny (his superstardom),” White told media members during the UFC 241 post-fight scrum. “He’s a needle-mover now.”
It’s quite a change from the days when White dismissed Diaz’s ability to move the needle. The UFC boss went on to discuss how impressed he was with Diaz’s performance coming off a hiatus.
“You have to talk about the layoff,” he said. “You have to talk about that this kid hasn’t fought in three years. He looked a little rough in the first round, looked like he gassed out at the end of the first round, too. And then completely changed his game plan and started to fight his fight.
“Then 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.”
After his victory over Pettis, Diaz respectfully called out Masvidal.
“The reason I was off is cause everybody sucked. There was nobody to fight. But with this belt I wanna defend it against, Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight. All respect to the man, but there ain’t no gangstas in this game anymore. There ain’t nobody who done it right but me and him. So I know my man’s a gangsta, but he ain’t no west coast gangsta.”
Masvidal was seen in the crowd and he appeared to be thrilled with the challenge. When asked about the potential match-up, White questioned if there’s anyone who wouldn’t want to see that fight.