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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Is Nate Diaz Worth $20 Million Against Conor McGregor?

September 6, 2017 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez
Nate Diaz Conor McGregor

Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure to bring you some good ole 411 Fact or Fiction MMA. By the way, thank you for your votes and comments last week. It is appreciated and I encourage you to do the same this week. Last week, I stood opposite of Dan Plunkett as we traded barbs over the aftermath of Mayweather vs. McGregor, Jon Jones failing an in-competition USADA drug test, and women leaving the strawweight division for the flyweight division. Dan brought the fire as he pushed forward with hard rights and devastating lefts. I countered and fought fire with fire. When the dust settled the contest was declared a draw! Thank you, Dan, for your efforts and contribution.

This week, I lock horns with the White Tiger! That’s right, the witty Evan Zivin returns as we tackle subjects like Jon Jones passing his post fight USADA blood test, Chris Weidman moving to the light heavyweight division, Nate Diaz making $20 million in a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor, and much more! Go get some grub and spuds, sit back, and relax because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s get it going…

Evan “White Tiger” Zivin
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone


Lorenzo “Corpse Grinder” Vasquez III
Host/Contributor, 411 MMA Zone

It means nothing that Jon Jones passed blood test after his win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 because the substance, turinabol—an anabolic steroid—he tested positive for is typical only detected in urine and is difficult to detect.

Evan Zivin: FACT That statement says pretty much all that needs to be said on this. Urine tests check for different substances than blood tests do. That’s why both are used to drug test fighters. If Jon Jones failed a urine test but then passed a blood test, with the caveat that the blood test wasn’t checking for the substance that the urine test detected, then nothing has changed. The positive test has no bearing on the failed urine test. It doesn’t clear Jon. The results from his B sample might but it seems highly unlikely that his B sample will produce a different result than the A sample. I mean, this is USADA we’re talking about. They have accreditation and all that jazz.

Stay tuned, everybody. This Jones saga is only going to get more depressing.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT This is a simple fact and I believe too much is being played on the news Jon Jones passed his blood test after his bout with Daniel Cormier. The fact is, turinabol would not be detected in the blood test Jones took. USADA only picks up turinabol in urine samples. You have to consider that turinabol is also one of the most difficult anabolic steroids to detect because of the speed it is excreted from the body. Of course, we have to remember Jon Jones is entitled to due process so we cannot outright say he is a guilty man. However, his post fight blood test results do little to prove his innocents.

A full-time move to professional boxing wouldn’t be a bad idea in Jose Aldo’s case, as it could refresh his combat career and perhaps prove lucrative if he finds success and carefully builds his boxing record.

Evan Zivin: FACT I mean, it could. I don’t know if he’d have success as a pro boxer but, if he’s actually good at boxing without being able to throw kicks, then I suppose it could be good for him. He definitely has the potential to make more money as a boxer. That doesn’t mean he will, since he’d be starting at the bottom of the heap, competitively and financially, but the potential is definitely there.

I just hope he doesn’t want to do this because of Mayweather-McGregor. I can understand the frustration of seeing Conor get such a big fight with zero boxing experience but Aldo is tripping if he thinks he can walk into that sport and get anything even remotely resembling an opportunity like that. Personally, I think he’d be better off staying in MMA since he has a name and a reputation here, but if he thinks he can do just as well, if not better in boxing, then more power to him. I bet he also regrets not sticking with soccer all those years ago…

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION I could be wrong. Such a thing is not out of the realm of possibility; especially, if Jose Aldo kicks off a boxing career from the bottom of the food chain and works his way up into some decent-too-upper echelon fights. But, I think it’s a long shot, particularly when you insert the word lucrative because that means Aldo has to make a name for himself in the boxing arena while proving he is not amateur boxer who hopped over from mixed martial arts.

Aldo is a skilled striker but I am not sure he is a top level boxer. Common sense tells me no. He is a mixed martial artist and not a pure boxer. I’m also going to say Aldo seems to be losing a step or entering into a rut. Of course, you also have to credit the competition who continues to rise to his level e.g. Max Holloway. I just don’t see it happening. Plus, professional mixed martial arts takes a toll on the body, the hard training; the sparring sessions; and the fights. Aldo is 30, he’s still young, but his days at the top of professional MMA may be winding down and it may be too late to restart a combat career as a high earning boxer.

With one win in the UFC, Zabit Magomedsharipov, may be biting off more than he can chew by calling out Artem Lobov.

Evan Zivin: FICTION Do I think it’s too much for a 13-1 fighter to call out a 13-13-1 fighter? Um…no, I don’t. Zabit is new to the UFC but he’s a killer on a 9 fight win streak and finishes in his last 7 fights. Lobov, on the other hand, sucks. He’s 2-3 in the UFC. The only reason he is here is because of Conor. He needs a win against anybody and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him test his mettle against the Dagestani. Maybe he can learn a few things to relay back to Conor in case Khabib ever manages to get his hands on him.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION Perhaps, but I don’t think so. Artem Lobov is no killer. He’s 2-3 in his last five fights. He is not in the top fifteen and is likely in the position he is in within the UFC because he is best buddies with Conor McGregor. His overall record is 14-13-1. Lobov has experience, not all that great of a record, but experience in the big show and against a big name in Cub Swanson. To a degree, he was able to push Swanson, but he was outclassed. He did show how tough he is. Perhaps Lobov isn’t such a bad test for Zabit Magomedsharipov.

Magomedsharipov was impressive in his UFC debut. He has some flash but he also looked well-rounded. I’m looking forward to seeing this guy move forward. I don’t like to see prospects push faster than they need to be. That is usually a recipe for disaster. But Lobov hasn’t proved he will be anything other than a lower level journeyman with some grit. But, he is a name these days (thanks again to his best pal McGregor) and has the toughness and experience to test Magomedsharipov. I wouldn’t mind seeing this fight if it gets made and I don’t think Lobov possess the skill and aptitude to pose as a huge threat where Magomedsharipov risks his momentum.


In its current state, the light heavyweight division would benefit from the addition of Chris Weidman, if he does choose to move up from the middleweight division.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT The light heavyweight division is a shallow and murky place, especially, if Jon Jones is suspended as result of his failed USADA test. I’m not saying Chris Weidman is going to become a wrecking ball in the heavier division but he would add salt to the almost empty shaker. I imagine a win or two over any top five or seven light heavyweights and we could see Weidman challenging for the title. It’s another name in the hat that is lacking in names and there is nothing wrong with that. Weidman gets a fresh start and we get a fresh face in the light heavyweight division.

Evan Zivin: FACT There’s still fights available at middleweight for Chris but if he feels he’s hit a wall at 185, or if he just can’t get the nightmares of Yoel Romero’s knee out of his head, then a move to light heavyweight might be a good idea. The weight class could definitely use the added depth. I mean, I love Shogun Rua but, in the UFC’s rankings, he’s currently #6. That should tell you how stacked the division isn’t these days. If Chris wants to move up to 205, he’s probably already top 3 walking through the door. I’d be down for Weidman/Gustafsson or Weidman/Teixeira or Weidman/Manuwa or Weidman/VOLKAN CRUSH. A fight with Cormier would be great too. Let’s go for it!

It’s time for Ben Askren and the UFC to come to terms so the amateur wrestling standout can test his worth as one of the best welterweights in the world.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FACT It’s looks like this one is a little too late as Ben Askren appears set to retire after his next fight with ONE FC. Askren doesn’t have a lot of fans because his style is unappealing. However, some of us appreciate the grappling arts a little more and take pleasure in the manner in which Askren tends to win. It’s for that reason why I’d like to see what he can do against better welterweights like Tyron Woodley, Demain Maia, Robber Lawler, et al. Askren and the UFC could not come to terms a few years back and that’s a shame. And it doesn’t look like it will ever happen. But, yes, to gauge where he belongs among the welterweight greats he needs to test himself in the UFC. This is where the majority of the best in said division reside.

Evan Zivin: FICTION This became moot when it was announced that Ben is going to fight Shinya Aoki in November and then retire to get a cushy office job with ONE Championship (I assume his job will be to give Rich Franklin someone to talk to) but it’s hard to say if now would be the right time to bring “Funky” in to the UFC. There was a right time to bring him in and it was 4 years ago when he was hot off his Bellator run. Now, he’s cooled after spending the last few years fighting in Asia. If UFC had concerns that people would pay to see him fight then, they’ve probably completely forgotten the guy is still fighting now, which is a shame but that’s how they do business sometimes.

Would I still like to see Askren come to the UFC and test himself? Absolutely but it’s not going to happen. Sorry, everybody. The pain will heal in time.

It’s not far-fetched to believe the UFC is going to pay Nate Diaz $20 million for a trilogy fight against Conor McGregor.

Lorenzo Vasquez III: FICTION No, that’s pretty far-fetched. I don’t think it’s unreasonable. I think the UFC takes in enough money to pay Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor a pretty nice chunk of money that reaches into eight figures. But that is not in the style of the UFC business model. Until something changes in the UFC business model with regards to fighter pay, this is an easy fiction.

Evan Zivin: FICTION Oh yes it is. Has UFC ever paid a fighter $20 million to fight? The biggest disclosed payout was to Conor when he fought Nate at UFC 202 and that was $3 million. Did the additional discretionary bonuses and Payperview payout bring his income for the night up to $20 million? It’s possible but I wouldn’t know. If it did, I think it’s safe to say Conor is the only fighter to come anywhere close to making that much for an MMA fight.

Is it possible UFC pays Nate that much for the trilogy? It is but I doubt they do it, not unless they feel they have no choice, that saying no means saying goodbye to one of the only million+ buy fights they have left at their disposal. The company is desperate for big fights. This is the biggest fight they can make but how desperate are they to make it happen? It’ll probably depend on if Conor wants the fight since we all know UFC would jump off the Stratosphere if Conor told them to.

The good thing about it, though, is that Nate recognizes the value of the fight. He knows Conor wants it so, if UFC wants it, they better be willing to pay to make it happen. No need to settle, Nate. You deserve to get paid. So go get that money.

So who won? Did I wipe the floor with Evan or did the “White Tiger” tear me apart? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!

And that’s it for today but, as always, we’ll be back next week with another contest! And please, be sure to vote!

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