With one fight left on his UFC contract, the big question is who will Nate Diaz fight on his way out?
If UFC president Dana White has things his way, he’d like to see the younger Diaz brother face off against Khamzat Chimaev. Sure, Chimaev has fought twice in the UFC at 185 pounds while Nate is more of a lazy lightweight. And Nate’s history against wrestlers certainly doesn’t leave much room to wonder how the fight might go. But White wants it, and if you dare question him on exactly why his literal answer is “shut the f—k up and let me do my job.”
But it’s okay for White to want to bury Diaz on his way out, this rare star of his that has been involved in three of the biggest UFC PPVs in company history. Because Nate Diaz recently put up a social media post seemingly calling out the winner of UFC 267’s Usman vs. Covington title fight. Take a look:
Once White saw that, he changed his reasoning regarding the Chimaev fight. Because if Nate wants Usman or Covington, then we should treat him like a legit contender. And real contenders shouldn’t be afraid to fight Khamzat Chimaev.
“I just did an interview … and he was like, ‘Everybody feels like you’re feeding Nate Diaz to the wolves,’” White sain in an interview with BT Sports (via MMA Junkie). “(Chimaev) has got four fights. Nate Diaz has been here for years. Nate Diaz was just asking for an Usman fight – that would be feeding Nate Diaz to the wolves. Listen, Khamzat Chimaev looks incredible, but he’s never fought anybody inside the top 10.”
“The last guy he fought was No. 11 and he’s never fought anybody in the top five. He’s never been in any of those kinds of fights yet. As incredible as he looks, let’s be realistic here and what he’s done in a short amount of time and how popular he’s become. But if you wanted to fight with Kamaru Usman, you shouldn’t be worried about Khamzat Chimaev.”
White seems utterly shocked that fans and media are speculating that there are dirty tricks behind this Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz fight offer, like it’s completely outside the realm of plausibility that he’d set this up to burn Nate going out the door. As if there wasn’t a whole anti-trust monopsony case winding through court right now that contains evidence that’s exactly the kind of thing they’d do.
In that same legal case? An extensive lesson in how the UFC can and often does extend fighter contracts by six months should a fighter turn down an offer from the promotion. The UFC only has to legally offer an athlete so many bouts a year. Get picky and you’ll easily end up on the bench with an ever-extending contract, which has been where Nate Diaz has spent the majority of the past 5 years.
If you want our wild speculation, and you’re here on this site so we assume you do, we think the fight with Khamzat wasn’t meant to be accepted. The fight was offered to be rejected, and then Diaz’s contract gets extended into mid-2022 when they can offer him the fight they actually want him in: a rubber match against Conor McGregor.
How do you think this showdown between White and Diaz goes, Maniacs?