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Ali Abdelaziz believes Nate Diaz’s UFC contract is likely holding up potential fight against Vicente Luque

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Make no mistake, Vicente Luque wants to fight Nate Diaz but that doesn’t mean the UFC is on board.

On Thursday, Diaz took to Twitter to once again push for a fight after previously planning on his return to action in December. The former lightweight title contender said “I ain’t got a contract — must be something wrong with Luque.”

According to his manager Ali Abdelaziz, there’s definitely nothing wrong with Luque in terms of wanting the fight but he believes Diaz’s current contract situation with the UFC is likely the roadblock preventing the matchup from actually coming together.

“Listen, I believe Nate Diaz has one fight left on his contract,” Abdelaziz told MMA Fighting. “I like the fight. I think it’s a great fight. I think the UFC, it’s a business, they want to make money and I think Nate and Conor [McGregor] will make them so much money.

“I think the only way the UFC will agree to make this fight happen [is] if Nate re-signs with the UFC. But I don’t know if this is good for Nate to re-sign with the UFC.”

Diaz has been a member of the UFC roster since 2007 when he competed on The Ultimate Fighter reality show. Since that time, Diaz has been a mainstay with the UFC but in recent years, he’s reached superstar status following a pair of fights against former two-division champion Conor McGregor.

It’s unclear if Diaz has any desire to re-up his deal with the UFC or if negotiations have somehow gone south recently, but he’s obviously angling to return to the octagon sooner rather than later.

Luque made it clear in a pair of responses to Diaz that he’s definitely on board for the fight and he even offered further concessions in order to make the fantasy matchup turn into a reality.

“You know I’m in from day one!” Luque wrote on Twitter. “I’ve never backed up from a fight and I’m not gonna start now!! We can do it when and where you want I’m ready.

“I’ll raise my offer we can go as many rounds as you want and let’s make it an all stand up war no take downs allowed!”

As enticing as that offer might be, the decision to make the fight still lies with the UFC.

For his part, Abdelaziz has pushed for Luque to face Diaz next but he can’t predict what the promotion will opt to do, especially when it involves another fighter’s contract.

“At the end of the day, everybody wants to do what’s good for them,” Abdelaziz said. “At the end of the day, Vicente is next for title contention. Nate Diaz is a big name. If Vicente wants to fight him, he will fight him. Vicente will fight anybody. But at the end of the day, Vicente has to be smart right now. He’s No. 4 [ranked by the UFC], he needs to fight guys who’s going to help him grow, right? He’s one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC.

“But at the end of the day, I understand the business. I understand the UFC’s point but they know we want the fight, Nate wants the fight but at the end of the day, they hold the contract. I can push as much as I can but I don’t know what they want to do. Vicente, 100 percent will fight Nate or Nick [Diaz].”

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