Dominance MMA CEO Ali Abdelaziz believes a fight between Nate Diaz and Vicente Luque will only happen if the former signs a new deal with the UFC.
Talk of a clash between Luque and Diaz has existed for most of 2021. Prior to last month, it had been the Brazilian pushing for a clash with the Stockton native. He first called for the matchup towards the back end of last year following his knockout victory over Randy Brown.
With nothing materializing, “The Silent Assassin” took on former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 260 in March. After just under four minutes of Fight of the Night-worthy action, Luque submitted “The Chosen One” with a D’Arce choke.
Four months later, Luque took on fellow surging contender Michael Chiesa at UFC 265. Despite facing one of the best wrestlers in the division, the 29-year-old reversed position on the ground and secured yet another first-round D’Arce.
Following his latest victory, the #4-ranked welterweight once again had Diaz’s name on his lips. Praising the veteran’s entertaining style and durability, Luque pitched a 10-round fight against the 36-year-old. Diaz put those traits on full display when he was last in action in June. At UFC 263, he faced Leon Edwards in the UFC’s first non-title and non-main event five-round fight. Despite being outpointed throughout, Diaz nearly secured an incredible comeback courtesy of a last-minute surge.
Having suggested he was targeting a December return to the Octagon, it appeared the timelines of the Stockton star and Luque fitted nicely. Diaz even publicly accepted the Brazilian’s callout in September, suggesting an official booking wasn’t far away.
However, Diaz took to Twitter last week to provide a disappointing update on the matchup. The Californian said he hadn’t received a contract for the bout, believing there was likely an issue on Luque’s side. The Brazilian’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has now discussed the faltering booking. According to him, the UFC wants to ensure Diaz’s potential trilogy fight with Conor McGregor is protected first by re-signing Diaz, who has just one fight left on his contract.
“Listen, I believe Nate Diaz has one fight left on his contract,” Abdelaziz told MMA Fighting. “I like the fight. I think it’s a great fight. I think the UFC, it’s a business, they want to make money and I think Nate and Conor [McGregor] will make them so much money.
“I think the only way the UFC will agree to make this fight happen [is] if Nate re-signs with the UFC. But I don’t know if this is good for Nate to re-sign with the UFC.”
Abdelaziz also reiterated Luque’s desire to fight either Nate or Nick Diaz. However, he understands the UFC and believes a fight with the younger Diaz brother will only be possible should the 36-year-old agree a new deal with the promotion.
“But at the end of the day, I understand the business. I understand the UFC’s point but they know we want the fight, Nate wants the fight but at the end of the day, they hold the contract. I can push as much as I can but I don’t know what they want to do. Vicente, 100 percent will fight Nate or Nick [Diaz].”
Do you think Vicente Luque vs. Nate Diaz is the fight to make?