Sit back and prepare for some shocking news: Nate Diaz is not happy with the UFC.
Well, maybe that’s not too shocking. The status quo may have been choppy for months if not years, and Diaz is again pressing for the UFC to either give him the fight he wants or let him find that fight for himself.
Diaz began his latest public feud with the promotion on Monday when he tweeted publicly calling for a fight in July or August or for him to be released from his contract. Notably, he attached a video of Jake Paul kicking out former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, a possible theme in his “s*** to do.”
Diaz currently has one fight left in his contract, according to ESPN, and has turned down an offer to face rising star Khamees Shemayev, instead expressing an interest in one of Dustin Poirier, Vicente Luque and Tony Ferguson. He lost his last fight to Leon Edwards by unanimous decision at UFC 263 earlier this month.
A day later, UFC President Dana White discussed Diaz’s last request in an interview with The Mac Life and wasn’t entirely praising Diaz’s merits as a fighter at this point in his career. He even suggested Diaz go ahead and book Jake Paul’s fight:
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to look at him and see a lot of games and anything else. Contractually, we have to make him fight, we will make him fight.
“I love Nate. Let’s be honest, Nate has won one fight in the last five or six years. When these guys take over these positions, you have guys who have been with us for a long time, we respect them, and that cares. You’ve got [Donald] Sirones and Anthony Pettis before he left and you have Nate Diaz and Nick Diaz still under contract.
“You want to be fair and do the right thing, whatever. Nate Diaz isn’t going to come and fight Camaro Usman. We’re trying to do our best, we’re trying not to take revenge on anybody and we don’t respect anybody, but it’s not like we’re talking about Camaro Usman here.” We’re talking about Nate Diaz. Nate has won one fight in five years. We’re trying to figure this thing out with him. Maybe he should go on and fight Jack Paul. That’s a logical fight.”
White is right that Diaz has won one fight – Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in 2019 – since his career win over Conor McGregor in 2016.
Apparently Diaz was listening to White, tweeting a request to send the UFC for release hours later. Then he included two emojis: a blond guy who might or might not look like Paul and a boxing glove.
It may be worth noting that Paul recently announced that his next fight will take place on August 6, but with no opponent confirmed. There has been much speculation as to who would step into the ring with Paul, and Diaz, as an aging fighter, would fit in with the influencer’s modern trends.
Paul even tweeted his own statement to White, saying he’d be happy to face Diaz in the octagon and fight for free, as long as White increases the fighters’ salaries and pays for health care (White won’t).
There are obviously a lot of moving parts to this. Every side seems to agree that Diaz wants and should have a fight, whether it’s against Paul or within the confines of the UFC, but it’s a little more complicated than that.