Nate Diaz, Michael Johnson to Clash at UFC on FOX, December 19

Nate Diaz again calls for release from contract, says UFC is holding him hostage

UFC superstar Nate Diaz laid out his issues with the UFC and vents frustration over their unwillingness to let him fight out his contract.

The ongoing saga between Nate Diaz and the UFC in regards to his contract status took another turn into the spotlight on Tuesday. Diaz, who has expressed his frustration several times with the UFC and their unwillingness to let him out of his contract, went in-depth on his current situation, calling for the promotion to let him have his final fight on his contract and then walk away so he can pursue other opportunities.

Making a special appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Nate Diaz did not hold back on his relationship with the UFC, how they’ve been handling his fighter status, and why he feels they’ve been holding him hostage as he looks to fight out the final fight of his current contract. While repeating several times that he still respects the UFC as a promotion,

“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. And I want out. That’s my main objective here.” (H/T MMA Fighting)

Nate Diaz last competed inside the UFC Octagon at UFC 263 in June of 2021 when he lost an unanimous decision to Leon Edwards, although he nearly came back to win the fight after rocking Edwards late in the final round. Before his fight against Edwards, Diaz had his ‘BMF’ title fight against Jorge Masvidal stopped by doctor stoppage, a decision that left Diaz, Masvidal, and fans all feeling disappointing in the anti-climatic finish. Since then, there has been plenty of fighters who have called for a fight with Diaz, who has been open to fighting anyone, as he’s well-known for, but he said the UFC has only offered him one opponent, Khamzat Chimaev and also noted that the promotion wants him to have his trilogy fight against Conor McGregor.

“They don’t want to let me out of my contract. They want me to fight Conor [McGregor]. 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.”

In his interview on Tuesday, Diaz mentioned that he has asked for fights against opponents like Vicente Luque and Tony Ferguson among others. He has also heard his name called out by the likes of Dustin Poirier, Kevin Holland, and boxer Jake Paul. With plenty of opponents looking to fight him, Diaz said he’s open to any opportunity that actually comes his way. Paul has been the most recent one to call for a fight against Diaz, as earlier this week he again pushed to either box the UFC superstar or fight him in the Octagon.

“I’m interested in everything. I’m interested in activity. If he’s [Jake Paul] going to be the first one to step up, I’ll fight him. I’ll fight everybody. Anyone who wants to fight, I’ll fight that’s actually talking some shit like Jake Paul.”

Despite his frustration with the UFC, Nate Diaz repeatedly expressed his respect and appreciation for the UFC, but he’s no longer just looking for more money, and just wants out of his contract at this time. The superstar from Stockton, California even mentioned possibly re-signing with the promotion at a later time.

“I appreciate the UFC, but they’re valuing me in private, but I’m devalued in the public,” Diaz said. “I don’t want no more money, I want to go do different stuff. I went in there and talked to them, and it’s with all due respect. I might just re-sign afterward, but I need out.”

Whether the plan is to go compete in jiu-jitsu, box Jake Paul, or fight MMA in another promotion for a big-money fight, Nate Diaz has made it clear that at this stage, he doesn’t want to feel like he’s being held hostage by the UFC any longer.

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Mike Pendleton
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his "On The Mic" podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM's Fight Nation. With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike's work across his multiple outlets. Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310