Nate Diaz will be fighting out the last bout in his current UFC contract this weekend when he faces Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279. What happens after is still hanging in the balance, but as he told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a recent pre-fight interview, the idea of re-signing has been a long shot.
“Nowhere near,” said Diaz when asked about his chances of re-signing.
The 37-year-old Diaz then revealed what he wanted in return to make him ink a new deal.
“One time, I said ‘Alright, look. If I’m gonna re-sign since you guys are so adamant…’ if they’re so adamant about it and they kept coming back at me. And every time I was like, ‘No,’ they’d come back with more.
“These guys ain’t taking no for an answer. I was like, ‘Alright, you want me in, then me and my ten guys, we’re all coming. I need a contract for all my guys.’”
Unfortunately for Diaz, who’d repeatedly called for his UFC release, the organization called his bluff.
“After I said it and the deal was getting worked on, I was like, ‘Shit! They’re gonna sign all my friends and I have to fight here. F—k!’ And then they started coming back with ‘this guy could do the Ultimate Contender and this guy could…’”
Now as a full-fledged company superstar, Diaz holds a lot of leverage. But he believes he’s done so even before he was in the UFC as a participant in the fifth season of Ultimate Fighter, which he ended up winning.
Diaz recalled a point in the show where he instigated a backyard fight and did not get in trouble for it.
“I walked out and all the motherf–ers on the Ultimate Fighter were sitting there on the ground (looking up) like they’re in school ready to listen to the teacher. And I was like, ‘What the f–k is going on out here?’
“(Dana White) did a speech, ‘People are gonna think we’re animals.’ They’re sitting there all in trouble. (I was) laughing, like, ‘F–ng kidding me?! We’re in a fight house, and you guys are all sitting here acting like you’re in trouble.
“And I was, like, ‘I ain’t in trouble!’ I’m like, getting a soda in the background, like, ‘Yeah right! What the hell?’
“It was comedy. You guys are all in trouble because of the big street fight that I helped instigate last night… Send me home, I miss people at home.
“That’s what’s (been happening) from there on out.’
According to long-time coach Cesar Gracie, Nate can still re-sign with the UFC, as long as there are “better terms” involved.
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