Nate Diaz Says the UFC Is Holding Him 'Hostage,' Asks to Be Released

By Tudor Leonte  |  July 13, 2022  |  No Comments

The cold war between Nate Diaz and the Ultimate Fighting Championship adds another chapter to its history.

The youngest member of the Diaz brothers is pretty sure that his future is away from the Octagon. Diaz (20-13, 15-11 UFC) has recently expressed his frustration with his contractual situation with the UFC. While talking on "The MMA Hour," Diaz said that he wanted to taste free agency as soon as possible, but the Nevada-based promotion is holding him up. The MMA superstar feels like a "hostage" for the efforts he has been putting in to get out of his contract, which still has a fight on it before reaching its conclusion.

I was trying to get the show on the road, and they don’t want me out of the contract, and they’re keeping me in, and they’re holding me hostage, and I want out. That’s my main objective here, and it’s been an objective of mine since, I don’t know, what year it was? But the year I fought Ben Henderson.

In the last months, Diaz has been attached several times to a rumored clash with Dustin Poirier, but ultimately the matchup never materialized. After UFC 273 in April, even UFC President Dana White indicated that the promotion had moved on from that fight. According to the Stockton, Calif., representative, the UFC hasn't offered him any suitable matchups even though he has been vocal about potential opponents.

They haven’t offered me anybody. I’ve been asking for fights since whenever. I asked for a lot of fights. I asked for (Vicente) Luque, Tony Ferguson. I asked for like four or five people, and there was no going there, and then they finally offered me the Khamzat (Chimaev) fight, and I gave them the little, ‘What the f*ck.’ And then I was like, ‘Why not? Let’s just get it done with and get it over with.’ I asked for the Khamzat fight and then all kinds of excuses started happening. But remember I was like I want December, I want January, I want March, I want all these things.

Diaz disregards a potential rubber match with former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor. The pair's history dates back to UFC 196 in March 2016, when Diaz forced "Notorious" to tap due to a slick rear-naked choke in the second frame. The Irishman scored a narrow majority decision victory over his opponent in their rematch at UFC 202 in August 2016. The rivalry has been going on for many years, with both sides talking trash. Ultimately, the third clash never happened despite the fans' interest. Currently, the Irish fighter has just returned to the gym after suffering a nasty broken-leg injury against Poirier last July.

They don’t want to let me out of my contract. 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.

After the back-to-back fights with McGregor, Diaz's popularity skyrocketed even though he took a three-year break from competition. In his much-anticipated Octagon return, Diaz dominated former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis en route to a unanimous decision at UFC 241 in August 2019. In his subsequent appearance, he locked horns with Jorge Masvidal in a match that saw the peculiar "BMF" title on the line at UFC 244. Despite showing his well-known toughness, Diaz was stopped by the cage-side physician at the end of Round 3. The last time he competed in the Nevada-based promotion, Diaz lost a decision to 170-pound contender Leon Edwards in a five-round, non-title bout that went down at UFC 263 in June 2021.

When I’m asking for a fight, they offer me more money. Then they offer me more money, more money. I’m at a point in my career and my life where I don’t want any more money. I just want to depart. I’m over the whole UFC roster as of right now. All the guys that they can offer or I’m even asking for, everyone’s been used and abused. It’s a recycled division. Lightweight or welterweight division, I feel like there’s nobody worthy. There’s no worthy opponents at the moment.

The ball is in the UFC's court now. We'll see whether they'll grant Diaz's wishes, who is hoping to face Jake Paul in a boxing match sooner rather than later.

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