Nate Diaz isn’t necessarily done fighting in the UFC, but he sure seems done with being anchored exclusively to the UFC.
In a special edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Diaz made it clear that he has no interest in renewing his UFC contract, which has just one fight left on its existing deal.
“I was trying to get this sh-t on the road, but they don’t want me out of contract and they’re keeping me in there and they’re holding me hostage,” Diaz said (via MMA Fighting). “And I want out. That’s my main objective here.
“They don’t want to let me out of my contract,” he said. “They want me to fight Conor. I’m not fighting Conor McGregor right now. Our timelines aren’t matching up. ... You bring yourself back to life, and I’ll be back later.”
Nate claimed that each fight offer he’s received has come with a new contract offer which he is opposed to signing.
Diaz hasn’t fought since a five-round decision loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 263. After the second fight with Conor McGregor in August 2016, Diaz didn’t compete again until three years later at UFC 241. He defeated Anthony Pettis by decision and then had a fairly quick turnaround against Jorge Masvidal, coming up short in their ‘BMF’ title fight at UFC 243. Of course, during that lengthy layoff was a cancelled fight vs. Dustin Poirier in 2018 and the usual drama concerning whether or not a Diaz brother would return to fighting.
It is not new for Diaz to ask for his UFC release, but now we’re at exactly 15 years of Nate being under contract with the promotion, and the landscape has undoubtedly changed in more recent years. Jake Paul, who is boxing Hasim Rahman Jr next month, expressed interest in taking on Diaz in the ring if he’s let out of his contract, and it appears the interest is mutual.
“I’m interested in everything,” he said. “I’m interested in activity. If he’s going to be the first one to step up, I’ll fight him. I’ll fight everybody. Anyone who wants to fight, I’ll fight that’s actually talking some s—t like Jake Paul.”
Diaz isn’t trash his overall time in the UFC, saying he appreciates them but believes “they’re valuing me in private, but I’m devalued in the public.” He also doesn’t factor money into this current contract dispute, but rather the freedom gained to do what he wants.
“I don’t want no more money,” Diaz said. “I want to go do different stuff. I went in there and talked to them, and it’s with all due respect. ... I might just re-sign afterward, but I need out.”
You can watch the full Nate Diaz interview at the top of the page.