The back-and-forth between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, and Nate Diaz on who is responsible for the Stockton, Calif., slugger’s inactivity continues.
Earlier this week, Diaz went on a special edition of The MMA Hour to discuss his problems with securing the final fight on his UFC contract, claiming the promotion was holding him hostage. He asserted there weren’t many fight offers coming his way. Instead, every interaction with UFC had the company trying to sign him to a new contract.
No new contract? No fight offer, apparently.
White dismissed Diaz’s view of the situation, falling back on one of his most classic lines.
“I’ve said this a million times and I’ll say it again,” White said at UFC Long Island’s post-fight press conference (watch it here). “We can’t hold guys hostage. It’s not possible. I owe you three fights a year. If I don’t fight you three times a year, I have to pay you. How could I hold him hostage?”
That’s not exactly true.
UFC doesn’t have to “fight” fighters three times a year, it has to offer an athlete a specific number of fights over the terms of a contract. And according to fighters, the definition of “offer” isn’t exactly tilted in their favor, either. Indeed, UFC has been known to deliberately offer fighters bouts they can’t accept because their visas are being renewed or because they’re injured.
Diaz shot back at White’s comments on Twitter, saying, “Dana said Francis Ngannou was injured and couldn’t fight right now. Idk why he was so confused in interview. And in the last nine months I been offered 0 fights and I asked for 5 legitimate opponents. Thanks for the kind words. Can I go now?”
Dana said Francis Ngannou was injured and couldn’t fight right now— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) July 17, 2022
Idk why he was so confused in interview.
And in the last 9 months I been offered 0 fights and I asked for 5 legitimate opponents ..
Thanks u for the kind words can I go now
Diaz already has a “Diaz Translator” account that translates everything he says into a more understandable form, but this time it was Ariel Helwani who stepped in to clarify Diaz’s claims.
“Here are the facts re: Nate Diaz,” Helwani wrote on Twitter. “He hasn’t been formally offered a fight in 2022, sources say. After the Burns fight, as he said on Tuesday, he asked to fight Chimaev. He hasn’t been formally offered him or anyone else. UFC has until October for him to fight.”
Here are the facts re: Nate Diaz:— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 17, 2022
He hasn’t been formally offered a fight in 2022, sources say. After the Burns fight, as he said on Tuesday, he asked to fight Chimaev. He hasn’t been formally offered him or anyone else.
UFC has until October for him to fight.
UFC has all sorts of fun little provisions in its contracts that allow it to play games with fighters. Many have discussed the promotion’s tolling provisions, which extend a fighter’s contract if they are injured or turn down fights. Dominick Cruz recently revealed that UFC stopped offering him fights for six months because he turned down a quick turnaround fight after his win over Pedro Munhoz in Dec. 2021, leaving him healthy on the sidelines.
We’re sure UFC is within its legal rights to do what it’s doing to Diaz, but let’s not pretend that keeping an athlete with a limited career timespan on the shelf for more than one year is okay. UFC is clearly messing with Diaz’s career because he wants to leave and won’t re-sign with the organization.