When Nate Diaz entered free agency after completing his UFC contract with a fourth-round submission of Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 earlier this month, the question on everyone’s minds was: what happens next?
The UFC veteran answered the question partially, telling UFC color commentator Joe Rogan that he wanted to show everybody ‘how to own another sport’. But that could mean anything from boxing to kickboxing, or even jiu-jitsu. Nate Diaz, D1 wrestler, anyone? On the fistic side of possibilities also lies bare-knuckle boxing. It may not be the first option that leaps out to fans, but that hasn’t discouraged its biggest names from trying to lure Diaz into the ring.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) president David Feldman has apparently set his sights on Diaz, making clear that the Cesar Gracie black belt is ‘absolutely on the radar’ of the promotion. Feldman even had a potential opponent for Diaz should he opt to sign with them.
“I think that the fans would absolutely love to see both of the same type of personalities, both guys that just keep fighting. Nate Diaz vs. Mike Perry would be a fan’s dream fight,” said Feldman on The Bare Knuckle Show. “I think the fans would love to see that.”
For his part, Perry would love to welcome Diaz to BKFC. ‘Platinum’ spoke to Damon Martin of MMA Fighting and made his case.
“My first initial reaction was, ‘I don’t know if that’s where he’s going, where his ideas are,’” said Perry on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “Because he said he wants to go take over other sports, as far as he wants to be the [UFC President] Dana White of an organization, or the David Feldman of an organization, and run the show and show people how to do it. But he also said things where he’s still got a lot of gas left in the tank.
“He’s still interested in some big fights in his career, and I think that’s what it’s about,” continued Perry. “If he wants to accept the challenge, challenge himself, he loves to box. I know he like jiu-jitsu, too, so I don’t know if it’s something that he would be fully interested in because without jiu-jitsu against me and just boxing, I don’t know if he sees himself having a chance against me in the bare-knuckle boxing ring.”
Fighting Jake Paul and running his own promotion, Real Fight Inc., seem to be atop Diaz’s priorities now, but Perry hopes he doesn’t forget about him and BKFC.
“I’m out here calling him out, maybe he’ll try to shut me up,” said Perry. “Whatever we got to do to get the fight that’s most buzzing on the planet, for the fans and for me, because ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry is out here trying to fight. I’m out here trying to fight the best competition I can get. So whoever’s willing to really make it all make sense. Nate Diaz, bro, don’t be scared homie. I know you still got a lot of fight left in the tank and bare-knuckle is just a real challenge, a real opportunity for both of us. Let’s give the fans what they want to see, and I think it’s me and you [in] bare-knuckle.”
Perry is 2-0 in BKFC, defeating Julian Lane and Michael ‘Venom’ Page at BKFC: KnuckleMania 2 and BKFC: London, respectively.