MMA loans

Hooker explains why Diaz Free Agency is ‘dangerous’ for the UFC

UFC lightweight Dan Hooker says the departure of MMA superstar Nate Diaz is “extremely dangerous” for the promotion.

After talking about a whole host of possible opponents and multiple calls for his release throughout this year, Diaz was finally able to fight for his contract this past weekend at UFC 279.

While the Stockton native was originally set to face undefeated welterweight Khamzat Chimaev in a highly controversial booking, the Chechen-born Swede’s lack of weight forced some late card changes, leaving Diaz to share the Octagon with fellow veteran Tony Ferguson.

Capping off his UFC tenure in style, Diaz submitted “El Cucuy” in the fourth round with 2:09 on the clock. And with that, the 37-year-old fan favorite has confirmed his intention to explore projects outside of the organization he has been part of since 2007.

While UFC President Dana White wished Diaz well during his appearance at the post-fight press conference, a member of his promotion’s roster expects him and d other superiors are concerned about the impact that the TUF 5 the exit of the winner could have.

Hooker: Diaz could lead by example

Appearing on Allstar’s UFC 279 reaction video14-ranked lightweight contender Dan Hooker discussed Diaz’s departure.

Explaining the effect this could have on the MMA leader, “The Hangman” suggested that Diaz is now able to demonstrate where the top names in the UFC would stand if they chose to test free agency.

This, Hooker said, has the potential to open many fighters’ eyes.

“By him fighting for his contract… leaving on a win, leaving as a big pay-per-view star – he can test free agency, right?” Hooker said. “And he now has the ability to show other UFC fighters where they stand in the open market, which is incredibly dangerous for the UFC. If he goes out and PFL drops millions of dollars to sign him, or Rizin drops millions of dollars to sign him, or he goes and fights Floyd Mayweather and gets $10 million; it’s really going to be an eye opener for a lot of other UFC fighters.

“So I can really see the UFC doubling, tripling, quadrupling the contract he was on just for that not to happen, so fighters aren’t as aware of their ability (outside of the UFC) – because it’s never been done with a guy like that in the Nate Diaz position,” Hooker added. “It’s usually when guys go on a big loan, you know what I mean? Or suffer huge losses.

Per Diaz himself, the UFC was willing to negotiate his ultimatum, which involved signing 10 of his teammates in exchange for his own re-engagement. Although that did not materialize, the Stockton native noted that the promotion was aimed at opening up places on TUFF and DWCS.

With that in mind, it might not be surprising to see the UFC continue to send Diaz-style offers, as Hooker suggested.

Although he’s clearly the bigger one, Diaz isn’t the only notable name to have fought his contract lately. After beating Charles Jourdain in July, then-ranked featherweight Shane Burgos explored other options before signing a lucrative deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

And just last week, former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos vacated his top-10 spot and tracked “Hurricane” to the PFL’s SmartCage.

While the pair’s contracts and success outside the Octagon could inspire other contenders to follow suit, perhaps Diaz’s next exploits will convince some of the biggest names in the UFC to rate as well. their options.

Do you agree with Dan Hooker’s assessment?