Nick Diaz reportedly wants out of the UFC, unless his contractual demands are met in full.
Despite coming off consecutive losses, the former Strikeforce champ has been actively seeking a title shot against newly crowned UFC welterweight champ Johny Hendricks.
There’s no doubt a bout between Diaz and Hendricks would turn in monster pay-per-view numbers, but UFC President Dana White doesn’t seem keen on giving Diaz any handouts.
MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle reported last Wednesday on Twitter that White had offered Diaz a fight with top welterweight contender Hector Lombard. Diaz spoke with MMA Fighting briefly after the story broke to reiterate his contractual demands for returning to the UFC.
According to Diaz, he never considered anything other than renegotiating his contract or fighting Hendricks for the UFC title:
All I said was, What am I getting paid? And [Dana White] said, Let me check your contract. And the last text I got from him was what I would be fighting for. I didn't consider fighting for that kind of money. I didn't say anything back to him, right, but usually that means something. I'm not considering even for a second fighting any of those guys for less than $500,000. There's no way.
White doesn’t appear to be budging from his offer, despite Diaz’s willingness to sit on the sidelines indefinitely.
The Boxing Channel’s Marcos Villegas caught up with the disgruntled UFC star (h/t FightHub), who attended a high-profile boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas over the weekend. When asked about his situation with the UFC, Diaz appeared doubtful that the two sides would ever come to an agreement.
"If I get someone to buy my contract out of the UFC, I’d be [boxing] too out here," Diaz said. "Tell those guys, ‘Buy my contract so I can fight, get a real fight.’"
Diaz also said, “I’d like to fight for the world title against Johny Hendricks. These guys are kind of holding out. I’m trying to renegotiate my contract, see about trying to negotiate some fights for this year, but I don’t know. I don’t know what will happen. Maybe nothing, that’s fine though. Either way, I can’t complain. I had a good run, what I’ve did, I already had 37 fights pro.”
Diaz officially retired from MMA after losing a unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre a little over a year ago.
There was some optimism about him possibly returning to fighting after St-Pierre vacated the UFC title and went on an indefinite hiatus. Void of its biggest star, the UFC’s welterweight division would have no choice but to depend on the marketing prowess of Diaz to sustain growth, or at least that was the initial assumption.
White has instead opted to defer to the next generation of contenders vying for an opportunity to win a world title and become the next UFC superstar.
Maybe it’s all for the best.
The UFC could use more time to shine an extra spotlight on contenders like Lombard, Tyron Woodley, Rory MacDonald and Matt Brown. Diaz recently told MMA Fighting that he “never loved fighting.”
Perhaps this entire ordeal is the blessing in disguise he has been waiting for to quietly ride off into the sunset and bid the world of MMA a final farewell.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.