Nate Diaz has asked Dana White to “send the release” that would allow him to leave the UFC and fight Jake Paul.
White told The Mac Life on Tuesday that he feels Diaz facing Paul would be the appropriate move as of now after struggling to come to an agreement for the final fight on his deal. The California native is one of the promotion’s biggest names, but has won just once since his star-making victory over Conor McGregor in 2016.
He has one fight left on his contract with the promotion, which Mirror Fighting understands was expected to take place early this year in order to allow time for a full boxing camp and a fight with Paul in August. But the UFC seemingly weren’t keen on the idea until White mentioned this week that it may be the right option.
Diaz took to Twitter earlier this week asking for his release from the promotion, captioning a video of Paul knocking out Tyron Woodley by saying “UFC release now please or give me fight with anyone in July or August I have bigger s*** to do.” And when White did his interview on Tuesday, Diaz responded yesterday by reiterating his request, tweeting: “Send the release”.
Promotional boss White has never been keen on his fighters moving into boxing to face Paul who is 5-0 as a professional with stoppage wins over his four opponents. He believes that the YouTube star must fight a legitimate boxer, as none of his opponents to date have had a professional record before signing to fight him.
But he appeared to soften his stance on Tuesday, saying: “I like Nate, but let’s be honest, Nate’s won one fight in the last five or six years. When these guys get into these positions, you’ve got guys that have been with us for a long time, that we respect, that we care about.
“You’ve got [Donald] Cerrone or Anthony Pettis before he left, and you’ve got Nate Diaz. And Nick Diaz [Nate’s brother] is still under contract with us, so you want to be fair to everybody, you want to do the right things or whatever.
Would you like to see Nate Diaz fight Jake Paul this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
“Nate Diaz isn’t going to come in and fight Kamaru Usman, so listen, we’re trying to do the best we can. We’re trying not to s*** on anybody and disrespect anybody, but it’s not like we’re talking about Kamaru Usman here. We’re talking about Nate Diaz.
“Nate’s won one fight in five years, so we’re trying to figure this thing out with him. He probably should go on and fight Jake Paul. That’s a fight that makes sense.”
Diaz has been unable to find consistent fights in recent years for myriad reasons, but primarily contractual issues with the promotion. He took three years off after losing his McGregor rematch before taking two quickfire fights with Anthony Pettis and then Jorge Masvidal in 2019.
But then it was a further two years before he was able to get out against Leon Edwards last summer. And despite publicly begging his employers to get him a fight on social media throughout this year, nothing has materialised as yet.