Nate Diaz Says He Wants Release from UFC Contract: 'They're Holding Me Hostage'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 12, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 25: Nate Diaz backstage during the UFC 266 event on September 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Nate Diaz said the UFC is "holding me hostage" during an interview on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour on Tuesday and that he wants to be released from his contract.

"They're slow-rolling me; they're trying to keep me under contract," Diaz said. "And I've been doing all I can. I've never asked for so many fights in my life. ... Even right now, they're not letting me get in there and finish my contract."

"UFC, can I please have my last fight and be on my way?" he continued. "Give me anybody. I want to fight next month. July, August at the latest, and I want to be on my way. I'll fight tonight."

Diaz also said he would prefer to avoid taking the UFC to court to settle the situation.

The 37-year-old was once one of the UFC's most entertaining stars, winning The Ultimate Fighter 5 and dueling against some of the biggest fighters in the promotion, including Jorge Masvidal, Anthony Pettis, Conor McGregor (twice) and Donald Cerrone, among others. He has eight Fight of the Night distinctions to his name.

But he last fought in June 2021, a loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 263, and has lost three of his last four fights. Since a three-year hiatus between Aug. 2016 and Aug. 2019, he's only fought three times. He also took a 19-month hiatus between 2019 and 2021.

One thing is certain: Diaz hasn't been shy about his desire to move on from the UFC.

Nathan Diaz @NateDiaz209

I been trying to fight everybody and no go what’s the hold up ufc 😡👊🏼 ? <br>I’m not fighting Conor he sucks. <br>I’ll fight some one quit slow rolling me please <br>Thanks

Nathan Diaz @NateDiaz209

UFC Wass good wit a fight in July is the whole roster scared or what ?

Nathan Diaz @NateDiaz209

Send the release 📄 <br><br>👱🏻‍♂️🥊

Nathan Diaz @NateDiaz209

July 30th <br>Would be a nice to departure date 🧊

Diaz even hinted he wanted to move on from UFC to fight YouTuber Jake Paul:

Nathan Diaz @NateDiaz209

Ufc release now please or give me fight with anyone in July or august <br>I have bigger shit to do <a href="https://t.co/xyYSCBysLs">pic.twitter.com/xyYSCBysLs</a>

It's a fight that Paul has indicated he would take.

"I'm hoping because none of these [other] guys want to fight me," he said on The MMA Hour Monday. "I believe Nate Diaz will actually fight me and isn't afraid like most of these professional boxers."

"I think that fight could happen eventually," he added. "When he gets out of his UFC contract, I would love to box him. Nate wants that to happen, but obviously Dana White is in control of all these guys and won’t let him out of his contract."