Nate Diaz is no longer contracted to the UFC. The veteran welterweight was removed from the official roster yesterday after fighting out his contract and entering free agency.
Signing him won’t be be cheap so there are only a handful of potential destinations for Diaz. Last month Chatri Sityodtong told Ariel Helwani that he would be interested in having Diaz compete in Muay Thai or kickboxing as well as MMA although he did admit that the signing would not be his ‘typical path’.
If Rizin can afford to book Floyd Mayweather then Nate Diaz should certainly be within Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s budget although the promotion doesn’t seem to have many welterweights on the roster.
How about that to close the show!😤@NateDiaz209 locks in the guillotine for the win! #UFC279 pic.twitter.com/9ecHGdd5yi
— UFC_Asia (@UFC_Asia) September 11, 2022
Turn of events
Things could have turned out very different for Diaz if he had ended up fighting Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279. He was a massive underdog against the undefeated Swedish star and no-one seemed to believe the veteran could win that fight.
But Chimaev missed weight which prompted a last minute UFC 279 reshuffle and Diaz ended up getting matched with fellow TUF veteran Tony Ferguson instead. It looked a much more winnable matchup and so it proved.
The 37 year old won with a fourth round guillotine choke and walked away with a $50,000 USD performance bonus. More importantly Diaz underlined his worth to the UFC who surely won’t want to let him walk away.
Jake Paul has expressed an interest in facing Diaz in a boxing match. But there is no question about what the biggest fight out there for the man from Stockton would be.
“I would love to fight him for a third time.”
Nate’s interested in a trilogy after seeing Conor’s tweet 👀 #UFC279
(via @TheNotoriousMMA, 🎥 @CCLegaspi) pic.twitter.com/GAkJuzQrRD
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 11, 2022
The win over Ferguson certainly had Conor McGregor paying attention. Neither he nor Diaz has been on particularly good form in recent years but they are tied at one win apiece.
More importantly from a UFC perspective the most recent fight between the two was one of the most successful pay per views in history. Both Diaz and McGregor are at a similar stage of their career and would clearly love to be reunited for one last bumper pay day.
So while promotions all over the world might be calculating just how much they could pay Diaz and for what none of them can provide an opponent who would be as popular as McGregor. So while the American is currently a free agent the negotiations with the UFC are surely far from over.