UFC legend Nate Diaz managed to fight his way free of his contractual obligations with the UFC after a multi-year ordeal that he described as “being held hostage” by the promotion. His first goal after getting his freedom? A boxing match with influencer Jake Paul.
“I have to step the **** out to box real quick and whoop this mother******’s ***, so everyone knows who’s the real ***-whooper,” Diaz said in the leadup to his fight with Jake Paul. “You understand what I’m saying?… This fool is popping off, and everyone is going ‘We’re real fighters’ so go prove it mother******. Go beat his *** for talking ****… Like, on that big of a stage we’re letting this guy talk **** about the whole roster?”
Unfortunately for Nate, things didn’t work out, but he did win a moral victory of sorts.
As our own Evan Zivin wrote after the bout, “From the loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 (after choking him out first, of course) to the Leon Edwards fight, where all anyone talked about afterwards was how the future UFC Welterweight Champion almost got put away in the closing moments, no fighter has proven as capable of coming away stronger and more popular regardless of the outcome than the Pride of the 209.
“And it didn’t seem like that would be the case. Jake was stitching Nate up from the opening round. Jake even knocked Nate down in Round 5. None of that mattered, though, because Nate was still standing at the end of Round 10.”
Nate Diaz calls for boxing rematch with Jake Paul
Initially, there had been some discussion about Diaz facing Paul in an MMA bout in the PFL. That was Jake’s plan anyway, but Nate was never enthusiastic about that prospect saying ““I don’t fight for that organization.”
Now it seems Jake Paul has given up on making it happen.
“I think it’s too big of a risk, right?” Paul explained during a recent Full Send podcast appearance. “$10 million, but if he loses to me it’s like, he’s gonna get made fun of. He felt the power, I don’t think he could take me down.
“It’s kind of a lose-lose situation for him. That’s why, behind the scenes, on the business side of things he’s making outrageous number claims and negotiations and wanting such unrealistic things. It’s like Nate is ducking me.”
Diaz was quick to respond to the interview, claiming that he’d be willing to fight Paul in MMA “tomorrow.” That said, it seems like he’s a lot more interested in a boxing rematch than signing a contract with the PFL.
“I’ll fight you tomorrow in MMA,” Diaz wrote in a post on his Twitter account. “The problem is you suck and I don’t work for [the PFL] dumbass, you do. Rematch is in boxing, trilogy is in MMA, you need time to train anyway, you suck.”
Nate Diaz wants to return to the UFC
There might be a method to Nate’s madness. For one thing, Diaz doesn’t seem like wants to ever be considered a PFL fighter.
“If they’ll have me I would love to go back to the UFC, yeah,” Diaz revealed in a July interview. “My personal opinion is that Dana White wants me to whoop his ***, but he doesn’t want to say that he wants me to whoop his *** because that guy has business and needs to stay out of it.
“At the same time, I think he really doesn’t care if I get my *** whipped. He’ll say ‘I told you guys,’ either way. I’ve got love for Dana either way, no matter what he says, it’s all business and I just want to do my thing and get back to what I do best which is fight for real.”
But there’s also the reality that Diaz wants to maximize his earning potential for what’s left of his combat sports career. He saw firsthand how lucrative co-promoting can be when he reportedly earned a fortune co-promoting the Jake Paul bout.
As Bloody Elbow’s John S. Nash reported, “Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions and Nate Diaz’s Real Fighting, Inc. are 50/50 when it comes to anything involved with it.” The sponsorship deals alone were so lucrative that “the two boxers will earn seven figures each from just the sponsors that appear on the ring.”
According to Zach Rosenfield, Nate’s long time representative and the president of Real Fighting, inc., Diaz made well into “the 8 figures” all told for the Paul bout.
After tasting that kind of success, it’s easy to see why Nate isn’t interested in fighting as a contractor for PFL. Especially when there’s always the prospect of a rubber match with rival Conor McGregor, one that would likely have to involve the UFC.
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