Diaz vs Poirier update: UFC wants Nate to sign contract extension to fight Dustin

    Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz have been jawing at each other for months now about a potential big money fight early in 2022. But as of this moment, that fight looks more like fizzle than ever. Whatโ€™s going on?

    Well, according to MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani, the issue is once again Nate Diazโ€™s contract running out of fights, and the UFCโ€™s efforts in stopping him from become a free agent … at least until heโ€™s fought Conor McGregor for the third time.

    In a new episode of The Ringer MMA Show on Spotify, Helwani lays out the behind the scenes tea on Poirier vs. Diaz.

    โ€œNate obviously wants the fight, Nathan wants to fight. Dustin wants the fight. The UFC actually wants the fight,โ€ Helwani said. โ€œBut they want it with a caveat: they want to extend [Diazโ€™s] contract. And thatโ€™s going to be the push and pull in this whole scenario, right?โ€

    โ€œItโ€™s โ€˜All right, you want this fight? Sign for more fights,โ€™ right? โ€˜All right, you want this fight? Well we need you for one more.โ€™ And the option that was thrown out was โ€˜All right, you want this fight, you have to add one more,โ€™ and that would be the Conor fight, which is not a bad deal. But then they have to make sure that the numbers line up.โ€

    So the relatively simple act of negotiating a Diaz vs. Poirier fight suddenly also involves coming to terms with Diaz on a price for a third Conor McGregor fight. All during a time where the UFC is trying to make it very clear to everyone on the roster, needle mover or not, that they shouldnโ€™t expect Deontay Wilder money even if theyโ€™re selling a Floyd Mayweather amount of pay-per-views.

    McGregor vs. Diaz 1 and 2 generated 1.3 and 1.6 million PPV buys respectively, and while UFC 244 numbers were never released you know that event sold a ton of units as well. Considering how much money Nate has made for the UFC, itโ€™s always surprising how unwilling the promotion seems to be to pay the guy properly.

    We imagine Nate would be willing to stick around for a third McGregor fight … for the right price. The lack of a deal to make that happen tells you where things sit. Especially with Jake Paul sitting outside the UFC willing to splash Diaz with cash.

    โ€œWhatโ€™s going on now is a fascinating thing,โ€ Helwani added. โ€œ[Jake Paul] is this thing at the end, and Masvidal and Diaz and all these guys are looking at him and being like โ€˜We can make a ton of money if we just go over to this world. We just have to get out of this [UFC] contract.โ€™โ€

    So as usual, itโ€™s money and politics standing in the way of good fights, which is a story weโ€™re seeing a whole lot more of these days in the UFC.

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