Seasoned UFC welterweight Nate Diaz has said that the company would not let him out of his contract for fear of losing the opportunity to schedule a trilogy rematch with Conor McGregor.
In June of last year, Diaz lost to Leon Edwards by majority decision after five rounds. He had his most recent appearance in the main event of UFC 263.
Diaz said that he indicated a desire to share the Octagon with fighters like Vicente Luque and Tony Ferguson. Despite his readiness to return to competition, the UFC has suspended him for the last 13 months.
The UFC wants to make sure Diaz signs a new contract in order to fight former opponent McGregor for a third time while the two compete under their banner. When the two fighters first met in the Octagon in 2016, McGregor lost via submission to Diaz in the main event in March. He then exacted revenge on Diaz at UFC 202, winning the rematch by a narrow majority decision.
Earlier this year, reports surfaced that the promotion was interested in booking a match between Diaz and former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier. However, the plans were quickly shelved.
Diaz recently talked with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. Diaz said that he does not currently have any interest in fighting alongside McGregor. He also affirms that the promotion will not allow him to leave his contract or compete again until a third bout has been agreed upon.
Nate Diaz said: “They (the UFC) don’t wanna let me go – they don’t wanna let me out of this contract until I fight Conor (McGregor), that’s what’s happening. They don’t want me out without finishing that fight up. I’m not fighting Conor McGregor right now..”
He continued: “Our timelines aren’t matching up. You (Conor McGregor) didn’t fight me when you were supposed to fight me. I’m not fighting you right now – I’m supposed to bring you back to life before I go? You bring yourself back to life, and then I’ll be back later.”
“Cause I’ve got sh*t to do, you know what I’m saying? What’s he gonna do, fight somebody who got knocked on their ass or got knocked out? A guy who just got his leg ass broken, all over the place, and got knocked out the fight before.”