Yancy Medeiros will always consider Nick and Nate Diaz family, and like any family member, he wants the best for them.
When it comes to Nate Diaz’s apparent stalemate with the UFC, Medeiros believes the promotion should respect Diaz’s wish to leave.
“Everybody’s like, ‘What’s the biggest thing that’s going to happen, he should fight this guy, he should fight that guy,’” Medeiros said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “Honestly, I think the best thing for Nate’s career that would happen right now is if he got released from the UFC. That would just blow him up, you know what I mean?”
Diaz repeatedly has asked the UFC to book him a fight, which represents his final obligation to the promoter on his current deal. Although he reportedly has turned down several previous opponents pitched by the UFC, he has publicly agreed to a rebooking with ex-interim lightweight champ Dustin Poirier, whom he was scheduled to face at UFC 230 before contractual issues reportedly sunk the fight.
On Tuesday, Diaz continued his campaign to free himself from the UFC, tweeting he’d been trying to fight “everyone” with the exception of rival and two-time opponent Conor McGregor.
UFC President Dana White has been optimistic about signing Diaz to a new contract, but it’s unclear whether the booking delay is explicitly tied to that new deal. Diaz has on several occasions vented about not getting paid his fair worth.
Medeiros may not have any inside information, but he believes he knows what’s going on.
“It always has to do with money,” he said. “You see Dustin wants to fight him, and Nate wants to fight Dustin and get his fight out, so I just think you can connect the dots why the UFC doesn’t want to let him go. But I feel that the biggest thing right now that could ever happen for Nate is if he was released, because that man knows his bag, he knows his work, and there’s a lot of people that want to invest him and make him rich – more rich.”
Medeiros recently bet on himself when he accepted a short-notice, one-fight deal to face Emmanuel Sanchez in a lightweight contest at Bellator 279. In his first appearance since a June 20201 loss to Damir Hadzovic led to his UFC release, he snapped his skid with a decision over two-time featherweight title challenger Sanchez.
The win on his home soil of Hawaii led Medeiros to a new multi-fight contract with Bellator. Diaz stood cageside as his longtime training partner raised his hand. That’s the kind of support that’s made Medeiros a loyal advocate for Diaz.
“Honestly, when it comes to Nate, I don’t really talk about the fight business to him, because that’s my family,” said Medeiros, who cross trains at the Nick Diaz Academy in Stockton, Calif., when he’s not training in Hawaii. “There’s all these people that always are trying to get to know the info like that, so when I’m with him, I just keep it as my brother, watch for his well-being. But he’s moving, and he’s going to be making moves, because Nate can’t sit still. He’s been sitting still for a while.”