Former UFC lightweight title challenger and welterweight contender, Nate Diaz has today teased a potential move to Rizin FF, after the Japanese promotion’s leader, Nobuyuki Sakakibara previously admitted his interest in booking the Stockton native of a card hosted by the organization.
Diaz, a one-time lightweight title challenger under the banner of the UFC, completed his contractual obligations with the Dana White-led organization back in September of this year, headlining UFC 279 in an impromptu clash with Tony Ferguson.
Clashing with the former interim lightweight titleholder at the welterweight limit after originally scheduled foe, Khamzat Chimaev missed weight by seven and a half pounds, Nate Diaz exited the promotion riding a win, submitting Ferguson with a fourth round guillotine choke.
In the months after, Diaz was subject to a period of exclusivity with the UFC, which allowed the promotion to weigh up the option of resigning the Stockton to a new deal if he was interested in negotiating terms.
However, in November of last year, Nate Diaz’s period of exclusivity with the UFC in terms of negotiations expired, with The Ultimate Fighter winner now free to field offers from a string of potential suitors.
A transition to professional boxing has been mentioned in the Diaz conversation, with Jake Paul this week offering to fight Diaz first in a boxing match, before offering him a rematch in six months’ time under the banner of the PFL (Professional Fighters League).
Nate Diaz has been linked to a professional boxing move to boot
However, this Friday morning, Diaz posted a cryptic tweet – implying his interest in a potential move to Rizin FF – who held a recent New Year’s Eve event in tandem with Scott Coker’s Bellator MMA.
Diaz’s post comes hot the heels of recent claims from the above-mentioned, Sakakibara, who expressed his interest in potentially signing the Californian to a deal with the Japanese outfit.
“We do think we’re at a point where we can’t just only focus on the Japanese market anymore,” Sakakibara said during an interview with MMA Mania back in November. “We have to target the international audience. So, with that said, Floyd’s (Mayweather) doesn’t have to be a Japanese fighter anymore. It’s just one possibility thinking about the future. Not only Floyd’s opponent, but Nate Diaz as an individual has a great amount of character, fight style, and a great following internationally. So, as an individual, he would definitely be somebody we’d be interested to be talking to.”