Nate Diaz is following in Conor McGregor‘s footsteps… sort of.
Although McGregor is expected to be sidelined for a large portion of 2017, he recently applied for a boxing license in California. Similarly, Diaz recently applied for a boxing license in Nevada, which he is expected to be granted.
McGregor did so presumably to open up the possibility of a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. The boxing legend and the UFC’s first dual-division champion have teased a possible bout for the past year or so, and UFC president Dana White even threw out an offer of $25 million each to McGregor and Mayweather.
Diaz, however, applied for a boxing license so that he can get back to work, insisting that the UFC doesn’t have him in its plans.
“I know what this is: I’m being put on the shelf,” Diaz told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday night. “That’s why I’m trying to get a boxing license.”
There appears to be a split between Diaz and White over the fighter’s definition of “being put on the shelf.”
In a text message to The Times, White explained that the reason Diaz is on the shelf is because McGregor is on the shelf… per Diaz’s choice.
“Nate said the only fight he wants is Conor. I haven’t heard a word from him [since August]. Usually when guys want a fight, they call,” White said.
Diaz, however, said nobody in MMA wants to fight him.
“No one in MMA wants it,” he said. “No one says they want a big-deal fight against me. If someone wants to fight, then let’s make a big deal.”
Diaz apparently has gone so far as to express his displeasure to Mayweather, who, although retired as a boxer, is active as a boxing promoter.
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“When I talked to Nate Diaz, he told me [the UFC] had put him on the shelf,” Mayweather told ESPN.com recently. “He said, ‘Since the second fight with Conor McGregor, they put me on the shelf. I’m ready to stay busy, stay active.’
“Nate Diaz even talked to me about coming to box.”
Even if Diaz wants to box, that won’t happen without a call to White. Any boxing ambitions aside, Diaz remains under contract with the UFC, and would have to get permission to fight elsewhere, including in a boxing ring.
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