During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Diaz slammed the UFC for not booking him for a fight as he seeks to finish his contract to test free agency, stating, “They don’t want me out of contract and they’re keeping me in there and they’re holding me hostage.”
In response, White explained that it’s impossible for the UFC to prevent Diaz from competing because the organization is required to offer him so many fights per year or otherwise be forced to compensate him for sitting on the sidelines.
“When isn’t Nate Diaz saying something crazy?” White said at the UFC Long Island post-fight press conference. “I’ve said this a million times and I’ll say it again — we can’t hold guys hostage. It’s not possible.
“I owe you three fights a year. If I don’t fight you three times a year, I have to pay you. How could I hold him hostage?”
Diaz stated that the UFC wants to book him in a trilogy against Conor McGregor but he doesn’t want to wait for that fight to happen with the Irish superstar not expected to return until late 2022 or early 2023 after suffering a broken leg in his last outing.
While Diaz added that he’s not opposed to eventually returning to the UFC down the road, at this point he just wants out of his contract so he can seek out other opportunities.
According to White, the UFC has made every effort to book Diaz in a fight, but for whatever reason, nothing has been signed to this point.
“What do you think my plans are? We’re going to get him a fight,” White said. “We’ll see what happens.
“I have to get him three fights a year. I offer fights, he either accepts them or turns them down. Obviously, I’m not paying him so I’ve offered him fights.”
Typically, fighter contracts are extended when an athlete is unable to compete — either by turning down a fight or sitting out due to injury — and Diaz hasn’t appeared in the UFC since a loss to Leon Edwards in June 2021.
White refused to get into the he said, she said game about Diaz accepting or declining fights, but he promised that UFC matchmakers have talked to the former The Ultimate Fighter competitor about returning to action.
Meanwhile, Diaz said that the only fighters the UFC has on the roster who are truly “worthy opponents” are reigning heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou or middleweight king Israel Adesanya but he didn’t really want to face either one because “I like those guys.”
White could only scoff at that suggestion as he grew tired answering hypotheticals where Diaz was concerned.
“What should I say to that?” White said. “Imagine having a f****** conversation like that? Come on.”
For now, Diaz remains in purgatory as he awaits word on another fight, but it appears he’s at a standstill with the UFC on actually making that happen any time soon.