Monday, October 3, 2022

UFC star set to fight Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson amid footwear controversy

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Actor and WWE superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is apparently in the crosshairs of UFC icon Nate Diaz.

Diaz recently ended the last fight of his UFC contract by defeating Tony Ferguson with a guillotine choke in the fourth round at UFC 279 on September 10.

He’s now the tallest free agent in mixed martial arts history, but in an early morning tweet on Sept. 21, Diaz hinted that he’ll either fight The Rock or be “good.”

“I’m just going to fight the rock,” Diaz tweeted. “Otherwise I’m fine.”

Diaz has been involved with The Rock since Johnson competed at UFC 244 when Diaz faced Jorge Masvidal for the Baddest Motherf***** belt. The Rock, as the man in the Octagon, was tasked with wrapping the strap around the winner’s waist.

As the story goes, the doctor at the cage prevented Diaz from entering the fourth round of the November 2019 fight after suffering a gruesome cut above his eye. Masvidal was declared the “BMF” of the promotion and The Rock presented the belt to Masvidal in the middle of Madison Square Garden.

During the post-fight press conference, Diaz took aim at Johnson, who, like Masvidal, is from the Miami area. “If you’re the worst motherf*****, do you take that as a win?” Diaz said, per Sporting News. “And f*** The Rock too. I saw him smile with Masvidal. He can get it too.

“(The Rock’s) on this side, fuck him,” continued Diaz. “I’m on the west coast side. Mike Tyson should have been here anyway. He’s the worst man on the planet, right? He should have been the one.”

Diaz continued with Johnson, shedding light on his take on the WWE Superstar.

“I’m too hard on The Rock,” Diaz said. “You caught me at a bad time. The skirt is cool. I like ‘Ballers’ (Johnson’s HBO show). But he chose the wrong side, so he may as well get it. He can also have his ass whipped, straight upstairs. With all due respect, he can have it too.”

Johnson’s line of Under Armor Project Rock shoes is an official sponsor of the UFC, and athletes wore the shoes during UFC 279 and fight week. As a UFC athlete, Diaz had to wear The Rock’s branding. Well, Diaz ripped Johnson’s shoelace while talking to him ESPN’s Megan Olive.

“These shoes suck,” Diaz said. “Look at these shoes. They’re making me wear that shit.”

“Fuck those shoes,” Diaz continued, removing one of the shoes and pointing to it.

Diaz isn’t the only one having issues with Project Rock.

According to a report by Bloody Elbow, the outlet spoke to “multiple sources,” who revealed that fighters do not receive additional compensation for wearing the shoes during fight week and if they go to the Octagon on fight night.

“According to several fighters and managers who have asked to remain anonymous, athletes have not received any additional compensation for wearing the new brand,” reported Bloody Elbow. “This was also confirmed by a UFC 279 fighter who wore The Rock products during fight week.”

Several fighters have commented on the shoe line. For example, UFC heavyweight fighter Chris Daukaus called her “the f******* bader” and lightweight fighter Terrance McKinney asked The Rock to “come into our corner and support us”.

“According to several fighters and managers who have asked to remain anonymous, athletes have not received any additional compensation for wearing the new brand,” reported Bloody Elbow. “This was also confirmed by a UFC 279 fighter who wore The Rock products during fight week.”



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