Nate Diaz has made it clear that he wants to fight out the remaining bout on his current UFC deal and then leave the promotion, but he’s now stated his belief that the UFC are trying to hold him hostage until Conor McGregor returns.
“I was trying to get this shit 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 on The MMA Hour. “And I want out. That’s my main objective here.”
And he went on to suggest that the hidden motive behind the UFC’s reluctance to book him a fight is that they are stalling for time while waiting for his old rival McGregor to return from the broken leg he suffered last year.
“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.”
The McGregor fight would be a money-spinning one for Diaz, but as things stand there’s no fixed date for when ‘The Notorious’ will return, with Ariel Helwani suggesting last month that the rumors behind the scenes are that it could be as late as February or March of next year before he’s ready to fight.
So, that’s far from ideal from Diaz’s perspective, although it should be noted that he has claimed that the UFC are actually offering him extremely lucrative deals to stay with the promotion.
“The money that they’re offering me right now, that they’ve been offering, they offered me, five offers ago, more money than any fighter in the UFC, ever,” Diaz said. “And before the offer, I was getting paid more than any other titleholder, anybody. Anyone. Maybe not Conor, but that’s a different story…but I’m like, ‘I don’t want no more money. I want to go and do different stuff.’”
Diaz has suggested that a boxing match with Jake Paul and the option to compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, which his current UFC deal prevents him from taking, are among the opportunities he’d like to explore if and when he does conclude his contract with the promotion.