Ongoing contract discussions between the UFC and Nate Diaz, one of the promotion’s biggest stars, leaked to the public on Tuesday when both Diaz and President Dana White commented on the situation.
On Monday, Diaz (20-13) asked the UFC to either release him from his contract or book him a match by August. He also indicated that he wants to box the YouTube star who became professional boxer Jake Paul. He accompanied his post with a video of Paul beating out former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in December.
“Drop the UFC now, please give me a fight with anyone in July or August,” Diaz wrote on Twitter. “I have bigger s — to do.”
At a press conference Tuesday in Salt Lake City, UFC President Dana White commented on the campaign’s efforts to book Diaz’s next match.
“I do not know what to do,” White told The MacLife’s Oscar Willis. “I like Nate, [but] let’s be honest. Nate has won a match in five or six years. When these guys get into these positions, you have guys who’ve been with us a long time, who we respect and care about … you want to be fair and do the right thing, no matter what. Nate Diaz does not come in and fight [welterweight champion] Kamaru Usman. We try to do the best we can, try not to gossip about anyone or respect anyone. … He should probably continue to fight Jake Paul. It is a battle that makes sense. “
Diaz replied to White’s comments later Tuesday, tweeting: “Submit the release.”
Diaz (20-13), 37, has not fought since a unanimous loss to Leon Edwards in June 2021. He has one fight left on his UFC contract, and for much of a year he has publicly demanded the promotion book him recently. the fight. Diaz has expressed interest in facing several opponents, including Dustin Poirier, Vicente Luque and Tony Ferguson.
The UFC offered Diaz a fight in 2022 against rising welterweight Khamzat Chimaev, according to sources. However, Diaz rejected it, citing Chimaev’s inexperience in the company. He referred to Chimaev as a “rookie” in a comment to TMZ in December.
Despite White’s comments regarding Diaz boxing Paul (5-0, 4 KOs), it is extremely unlikely that it will be his next fight because he is still under contract with the UFC.
According to sources, Diaz and the UFC have discussed a new agreement in the past, but neither side has commented publicly on the possibility of one for a long time. In March, White said he thought the chances of Diaz signing with the UFC again were “very good.”
This is not the first time Diaz has publicly asked to be released by the UFC. He did the same in March. Representatives of Diaz declined to comment further when reached by ESPN on Tuesday.