Recent title challenger Nate Diaz requests release from UFC contract


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Nate Diaz is at it again on Twitter.

After blasting the headliners of UFC on FOX 9, attacking lightweight champ Anthony Pettis, and suggesting that no one wants to interview him, the UFC veteran today requested to be released from his contract.

And, of course, he did it in a way that is bound to stir up controversy and confusion. Citing the Twitter accounts of both the UFC and its president, Dana White, he wrote, “I would like to request to be released from the @ufc Its time for me to be on my way,” adding a cryptic ” .. ?” to the end of his message.

Diaz (17-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) has been inactive since pounding out two-time lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard in a rubber match at this past November’s TUF 18 Finale. But that hasn’t kept him from speaking up on social media, where he’s issued sporadic and pointed tweets dedicated to various targets.

Some would say the messages served their purpose. After one particular rant aimed at Benson Henderson, Josh Thomson and Pettis, he seemed to cement interest from the lightweight champ’s camp in setting up a fight, regardless of his position in the 155-pound division.

Diaz’s manager, Mike Kogan, threw more gasoline on the fire by suggesting that Diaz was holding out for a title shot when he turned down a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 170 in favor of a better contract.

Today, Kogan’s response to MMAjunkie’s request for comment on Diaz’s release tweet was slightly more explicit: “F–k you, I have no comment,” he said.

White has shot down the idea the Diaz is a contender, but said he likes the fighter’s attitude about wanting to take tough challenges. He may be less enamored with the 28-year-old’s current approach.

Requests to the UFC for comment went unreturned.

Diaz, who’s the younger brother of retired onetime welterweight title challenger Nick Diaz, has fought 19 times in the octagon, once earning a lightweight title shot after three consecutive wins over tough opponents. He was dominated by now-former champ Henderson, and a subsequent knockout loss to Thomson damaged his title prospects. The win over Maynard rescued his standing, but his position became less clear with his rejection of Nurmagomedov.

With his latest message, Diaz might be putting himself on the ropes, or perhaps attempting to follow in the footsteps of longtime teammate Gilbert Melendez, who fielded a lucrative offer from Bellator as a restricted free agent and subsequently inked a sweetheart deal when the UFC matched the bid.

But it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s really going on with Diaz.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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