“We all want the hand. Hand is tough to get! You gotta get the hand right from the opening.” - Jerry Seinfeld
Nate Diaz, ladies and gentleman, has hand.
I’m reluctant to move away from Seinfeld terms, but in other words, Diaz walks away from his main event loss to Jake Paul, which took place last night (Sat., Aug. 5, 2023) inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, with all the leverage in the world.
Sure, Diaz wanted to win, but the loss didn’t hurt his image (watch highlights). Look at the odds — he was expected to lose. As the older and smaller man, Diaz’s chances of victory outside his homefield of mixed martial arts (MMA) were never going to be great. Fortunately, he had enough good moments (and didn’t get knocked out) that Diaz wasn’t embarrassed.
More important, Diaz has a big money offer on the table. Paul has repeatedly offered him $10 million to compete in Professional Fighters League (PFL). Let me add an additional caveat: PFL allows sponsors. Anyone who watched the boxing event last night surely noticed the massive arena chanting wildly for Diaz from start to finish, so one would assume Diaz could pull in a buck or two from various corporate interests.
As those in the business world are well-aware, the great thing about a lucrative offer is that it can often be leveraged into an even better offer. Without doing anything else, Diaz already has an excellent, extremely valuable opportunity in front of him by fighting Jake Paul again in a cage.
However, he could also use that offer to demand ... basically whatever he wants from UFC.
UFC and Diaz may be on a break right now, but the attraction is still there. In 2023, is there a bigger fight that UFC could book than Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3? Their rematch in 2016 remains the second best-selling pay-per-view (PPV) of all time, and I don’t care if they’ve both declined since then, the rubber match easily clears seven figures worth of PPV buys.
That’s the beauty of free agency and single fight contracts. Nathan Diaz remains a proven draw, and last night’s spectacle did nothing to hurt his earning future. Whether he makes his PFL smart cage debut or is lured back to the Octagon, Diaz will absolutely be taken care of as well or better as just about any fighter in the sport.
That’s a glorious thing.
For complete Paul vs. Diaz results, coverage and highlights click HERE.