UFC president Dana White admitted that “it’s always sad” when fighters like Nate Diaz leave the UFC after so many years with the promotion.
Diaz has just one more fight on his UFC contract, and he will take on Khamzat Chimaev in the main event of UFC 279 to fulfill those requirements. Diaz has been in the UFC since 2007, so this final fight against Chimaev will mark the end of his 15 years with the world’s leading MMA promotion. It has been an incredible UFC career over the years for the Stockton native, but it’s almost just about over.
Speaking to the media this week following the Contender Series, White was asked his thoughts on Diaz leaving and what his emotions are. According to White, “it’s always sad” when legends of the Octagon such as Diaz leave the UFC, also pointing to fighters such as Jessica Eye and Donald Cerrone recently retiring from MMA.
“It’s always sad. Jessica Eye just laid her gloves down, ‘Cowboy’ (Donald Cerrone) just laid his gloves down and came and said thank you to me a couple of days ago. It’s one of those things in pro sports that sucks: it eventually comes to an end,” White said (via MMAjunkie.com).
“My big thing is it’s just all about getting people out at the right time. Some you do, and some you don’t. They’re able to do whatever they want to do so if they want to go and continue to fight, that’s up to them.”
Of course, fans and media have been critical of White for giving Diaz a tough matchup on his way out the door. But as far as White goes, this is the right fight to make at this point in time, and he believes the fans will look forward to the match.
“It’s a good fight. It’s a fight that people will want to see. It’s a fight that people will be interested in, so we’re gonna do it,” Dana White said of Diaz vs. Chimaev.
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