Nate Diaz Isn’t Interested In Staying In UFC Or Fighting Conor McGregor, Even If It Means Missing Out On A Huge Pay Day | But Will A Khamzat Chimaev Fight Tempt Him To Stay?

Image Credit: Twitter @bokamotoESPN

Nate Diaz isn’t trying to listen to what you want from him. The UFC welterweight fan favorite and winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5 has always been an edgy, disgruntled member of the UFC fighter body politic.

However, now he has people scratching their heads over his wanton desire to turn away a huge payday.

Diaz has been campaigning for a release from the mixed martial arts organization because, according to him, they are requesting another fight between Diaz and Conor McGregor.

“They don’t want to let me to go. They won’t let me out of this contract because they want me to fight Conor. That’s what’s happening,” Diaz said on “The MMA Hour.” “They don’t want me out without finishing that fight up. I’m not fighting Conor McGregor right now. Our timelines aren’t matching up.”

The two have fought twice previously with a win a piece, and Diaz is not interested in fighting McGregor for the third time. For most MMA fighters, a bout against McGregor is akin to hitting the lottery, but Diaz wants to move on.

Apparently, for him, there are just too many shenanigans that come with “The Notorious.”

“You didn’t fight me when you were supposed to fight me. I’m not fighting you right now,” Diaz continued. “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. I’ve got sh*t to do.”

With one fight left on his contract, Diaz wants to try his hand at free agency and take his brand of combative entertainment onto greener pastures. Organizations like Bellator MMA, PFL, and One FC are rapidly rising, and Diaz is a large enough draw to sustain himself without the larger organization.

However, the UFC knows Diaz’s value, having made him famous from their reality show to the pay-per-view ranks. Diaz also has endeared himself to the fans with his bad boy antics like smoking cannabis at press conferences and open workouts. Now he feels like a hostage because the organization wants to force him to fight McGregor.

In late June, Diaz tweeted a cryptic “Send the release,” alerting the world that he was ready to leave the UFC. He also tweeted a video of Jake Paul knocking out former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley with the caption reading, “Ufc release now please or give me fight with anyone in July or august
I have bigger sh*t to do.”

That “anyone” might or might not have applied to McGregor, but Diaz later mentioned that McGregor wouldn’t fight him when he was “supposed” to.

However, Diaz seems to have gotten his wish for a big fight minus McGregor, as multiple outlets reported on Tuesday that a welterweight fight between him and Khamzat Chimaev is close to being made.

Diaz vs. Khamzat woold headline UFC 279 on Sept. 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell said to ESPN. However, contracts have yet to be signed, and although a bout against Chimaev is a rebound fight for the ages for Diaz, the UFC only has a verbal agreement so far.

As the tension between Diaz and the UFC continues, only time will tell if he stays for one more or waits out his current term to find greener pastures for his career.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.