Last night, Nate Diaz once again requested a release from his UFC contract. This time, however, there was the added wrinkle of Diaz hinting that he would like to fight Jake Paul should his release request be granted.
With Nate Diaz only having one fight remaining on his current UFC deal, the sooner he fights, the sooner he can be liberated to pursue other ventures outside of the promotion or even the sport of MMA, such as boxing Paul.
Paul has always been onboard with the idea of fighting Diaz, as the Stockton superstar’s name has frequently come up when the YouTuber would drop his list of potential dream fights.
There have been rumors that the interest was mutual from Diaz’s side, but the only barrier of making the fight reality is his UFC contract. Without the blessing of the UFC, Diaz cannot compete outside of the promotion without being granted that freedom, ala Conor McGregor in 2017 in his blockbuster bout against Floyd Mayweather.
However, it sounds as though that roadblock may be removed with White sounding every bit as exasperated as Nate Diaz about not being able to get him a fight booked.
“Listen, dealing with Nate is always ‘fun, exciting, interesting,’” White began sarcastically in an interview with The MacLife. “So we’ll see. I don’t know what we’re gonna do.”
Dana White: Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul Makes Sense
White was then asked about Diaz’s latest request to be released and the idea of a Diaz/Paul bout. After addressing the struggles that sometimes come with trying to balance respecting a fan-favorite mainstay vs. being reasonable and fair, White ultimately caved at the idea of a Diaz vs. Paul bout.
“I mean, I like Nate. Let’s be honest. Nate’s won one fight in the last five or six years,” White said. “When these guys get into these positions, you got guys that have been with us for a long time that we respect, that we care about. You got the Cerrones, and Anthony Pettis before he left, and you got Nate Diaz — and Nick Diaz is still under contract with us. So you want to be fair to everybody. You want to do the right things, whatever. Nick Diaz isn’t gonna come in and fight Kamaru Usman.
“So listen, we’re trying to do the best we can, trying not to shit on anybody or 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.”
Nate’s older brother Nick Diaz has requested to return against reigning UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman, an idea which White swiftly shot down. As for Nate, after initially targeting a bout against Dustin Poirier, he has constantly displayed a sense of urgency in getting a fight booked against practically anyone. The only name that has come back at him thus far from the UFC publicly is #3-ranked welterweight Khamzat Chimaev.
Until now, that is. In a stunning twist, Dana White has apparently welcomed Jake Paul into potential fight talks with a contracted UFC fighter.
MMA News will keep you in the loop should there be any further updates on this developing story.
Do you think Dana White’s remarks mean we may see Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul in the near future?