Chatri Sityodtong appeared on the MMA Hour yesterday and was asked about Nate Diaz. He is the hottest free agent in the sport after finishing his UFC deal with a submission win over fellow veteran Tony Ferguson.
ONE Championship has snapped up the likes of Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson in recent years. While both men were former UFC champions Chatri says it is the versatility of Diaz which makes him such an attractive option,
“What makes Nate interesting, obviously, is that he wants to do multiple sports and so that is definitely the platform of ONE. When you look at Roberto (Soldic) he says he wants to win world titles in all the major disciplines and he wants to be the greatest combat sports athlete ever.”
ONE Championship Founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtong is LIVE and IN STUDIO on #TheMMAHour
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 12, 2022
But while Chatri thinks the idea of competing in boxing and submission grappling would appeal to Diaz he admits the American would not be a ‘typical’ signing,
“I think having (it) all in one platform, that’s kind of Roberto’s thing, so when I look at Nate, there’s a possibility of that as well, like in boxing and grappling. I know he wants to do that so I mean, yeah, we’d be interested but it’s not our typical path,” added the ONE founder and CEO.
In the aftermath of Diaz’s win over Ferguson at UFC 279 he made it clear that he wanted to compete in other combat sports,
“I want to get out of the UFC for a minute and show all these UFC fighters how to take over and own up another sport, how you’re supposed to do it. Conor McGregor didn’t know how to do it and none of these other fighters know how to do it. So I’m going to go out there, I’m going to take over another profession and become the best at that.”
— UFC (@ufc) September 11, 2022
Diaz is notorious for smoking, swearing and being an unpredictable character. He was involved in the backstage brawl that saw the UFC 279 press conference cancelled at the last minute.
But you don’t get to compete in the UFC for 15 years without being a master of your craft. Diaz is also a proven box office star who has headlined some of the biggest pay per view cards in MMA history.
It will be fascinating to see what direction Diaz’s takes in his career. There is clearly interest from Asia, albeit tentative, and he could yet take his skills and experience to ONE Championship in order to compete in multiple combat sports disciplines.