Las Vegas, NV — This Saturday’s UFC 279 main event is widely expected to be the last time Nate Diaz fights under the UFC banner.
As such, he’s been paired up in a “passing of the torch” match-up with Khamzat Chimaev, though the more cynical among the combat sports world appear to see it as Diaz (20-13) being fed to a hungry fighter on the rise up.
Regardless, Diaz, one of the UFC’s biggest stars, is set to make his exit. But as he told Cageside Press and other media outlets Wednesday during the UFC 279 media day, it’s just the halftime show for his career. Bigger things are still to come.
“I think that I’ve been stuck in the cage for a long time, and I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do to get the f*ck out,” Diaz said, in a brief media appearance with as many one-word answers as insights. “Whether I fight the toughest guy, whatever you want to make of him or call him, or anybody, I’m just ready to rock and roll,” he said when asked about Chimaev.
As for his future, Diaz explained that “I feel like the UFC, it’s kind of limited for me, and I wanted to reach higher goals, higher objectives and do bigger stuff than this. And under the UFC umbrella, you’re like I said, you’re limited and you can only go so far.”
“It’s only halftime show,” Diaz continued, adding that “it’s time to blow past everybody here in the organization. Even if it involved me staying in or getting out, I’m going to do something bigger than I’ve ever done, soon as this is done. Bigger than this, bigger than whatever’s in the past also.”
Awaiting Diaz could be a lucrative match-up with Jake Paul, depending on the outcome of his newly announced boxing match-up with UFC legend Anderson Silva. Asked if he was interested in that bout, Diaz replied that he was interested “in all combat sports.”
Watch the full UFC 279 media day appearance by Nate Diaz above.