Nate Diaz issues UFC ultimatum, teases Jake Paul crossover bout

Hugely popular American, believed to have one fight left on contract, has not competed in 12 months

Nate Diaz punches Leon Edwards during their welterweight fight at UFC 263 on June 12, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. Zuffa LLC
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Nate Diaz has challenged the UFC to book him to fight within the next two months or release him from his contract – perhaps to even face Jake Paul in a crossover bout.

Diaz, one of the most popular fighters in the sport, has not competed since his unanimous decision defeat to Leon Edwards at UFC 263 in June last year.

The American, 37, has been campaigning for a UFC fight for months now, and in March began venting his frustration on social media. It is understood that Diaz, who joined the world's lead mixed martial arts promotion in 2007 and has since racked up a 15-11 record there, has one bout left on his current deal.

Early on Tuesday, Diaz tweeted: “UFC release now please or give me fight with anyone in July or August. I have bigger [expletive] to do.”

The post included a video of YouTube star Paul knocking out former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in their boxing rematch last December. Paul moved into exhibition boxing in 2018 and has gone on to fight Ben Askren - another former UFC athlete - and Woodley, twice.

In March, UFC president Dana White said the promotion was actively working on securing a bout for Diaz. The promotion has three pay-per-view events scheduled for July and August, beginning with UFC 276 – Israel Adesanya headlines against Jared Cannonier - on July 2 during International Fight Week, and concluding with UFC 278 on August 20.

In the latter, confirmed late on Monday, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman takes on long-time contender Edwards.

Such is Diaz’s stock, he would have no shortage of willing opponents should the UFC book a fight. Last week, welterweight challenger Khamzat Chimaev again called out the Californian, while former lightweight title-contender Dustin Poirier has repeatedly offered to take on Diaz.

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Updated: June 21, 2022, 9:14 AM