By now it is safe to say that UFC 279 has been a whirlwind of chaos. From backstage scuffles to rescheduled fights, and weight misses by fighters, we’ve practically seen it all. In addition to that, we now have Nate Diaz slamming and calling out an unexpected personality.
Following the cancellation of Diaz’s bout with Chimaev, the UFC veteran was doing an interview about his new opponent with ESPN. The interview was proceeding as expected until Nate suddenly went off the rails speaking about the UFC x The Rock shoe collab. Although the segment was deleted from the interview, it has since popped up on Twitter.
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At the end of the interview, Diaz decided to go off script as he took off his shoes and showed them to the camera saying: “These shoes f****** suck!”. Nate continued his rant saying, “Look at these shoes. They made me put this s*** on. F*** these shoes!” People have since theorized that there is a deeper layer to the outburst.
Many suspect that Nate’s reaction is due to the shoes being endorsed by movie star and former WWE wrestler Johnson. Recently, the UFC announced that ‘Project Rock’, a performance brand created by Dwayne Johnson would be the official footwear partner of the UFC.
As you may have guessed, Nate and DJ do have a bit of history. Dwayne Johnson or ‘The Rock’ was in charge of presenting the BMF belt at UFC 244. Subsequently, The Rock put the belt on Jorge Masvidal who had won the fight against Nate on the night. There has been animosity from Nate’s side ever since.
Nate Diaz Rivalry with The Rock
After losing the BMF belt to Jorge Masvidal, Nate was understandably in a sour mood. Moreover, seeing Masvidal’s buddy, The Rock present the belt put Nate off even more. After the fight, the Stockton Slugger had some words for the Samoan.
”F**k The Rock too, man,” said Nate following the TKO loss to Masvidal. “That motherf**ker over here playing me. See him over here smiling with Masvidal. Should have had Mike Tyson handing out a belt if anybody. I don’t give a f**k about any belt anyway, but he can get it too.” Understandably, Diaz felt hard done by with that specific arrangement.
On the other hand, The Rock was calm and definitive in his stance. “He is as advertised. Nate, he gets it. He knows that me and Jorge we’re boys, we’re from Miami. We have a lot of deep connections down there. A lot of the fighters we know, a lot of the coaches and trainers that we know, a lot of the gyms that we’ve been to down there. So there’s a connection, so no I was totally fine with it. He gets it.”
With his contract at its end and his final fight upon us, Diaz is doing his all to show his disdain for the organization. Nate’s rebellious nature has been a joy to watch for the fans, as it very well may be the last time they get to see it.