Will Nate Diaz Return to MMA After Jake Paul Boxing Bout?

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Nate Diaz has always come across as a straight-talking kind of guy, and if you asked him why he’s fighting YouTuber Jake Paul in a 185lb boxing match on Saturday he’d probably be honest in his answer.

The small matter of an eight-figure payout will probably be the reason. It’s thought that Diaz has been offered a minimum purse of $500,000, but with his Real Fight Inc company on co-promotional duties, he will enjoy a split of the PPV money and ticket sales as well.

That would be enough to send many of us happily into retirement – especially at the age of 38, but Diaz is a proud fighting man and has an agenda of his own… rumors of a UFC return are perhaps not too far wide of the mark.

Back to the Mat

The Paul vs Diaz odds suggest that Nate’s foray into the world of boxing might be a brief losing one – he is the 7/2 underdog for Saturday’s contest in Dallas, with Paul a comfortable 2/9 favorite.

The boxing betting odds aren’t always the most accurate of arbiters because this is an unpredictable sport where one punch can change the entire landscape of a bout, but at the same time the sportsbooks are generally on the money when it comes to making their predictions.

So it’s possible that Diaz will feel rather humbled late on Saturday night – not because he’s embarrassed to lose to a YouTube fighter, because Paul is simply more experienced when it comes to the sweet science, but more because he’s a grappler who has worked hard on his striking over a near two-decade long career on the mat.

A return to MMA seems the most likely port of call after the bout – a move which would be even more likely, you suspect, if Diaz was to lose. He may just feel he has something to prove to the fighting community.

Old Stomping Ground

A money-spinning MMA rematch with Paul could net Diaz $10 million – that’s apparently the offer that’s on the table, and it’s one that the 38-year-old may be tempted to take given that he would naturally be superior to the celebrity boxer in the Octagon.

Paul, of course, is signed to the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where he’s yet to make his debut, and while Diaz seems amenable to the idea of an MMA scrap, he’s not ready to talk terms just yet. “Let’s get this fight out that way,” he commented. “It’s going to cost more than that.”

For the first time in more than 15 years, Diaz is a free agent – with new MMA organizations springing up all the time, he may follow the path of Francis Ngannou and co and seek his next move elsewhere.

However, talks of a return to the UFC are louder than a whisper, with old nemesis Dustin Poirier making no secret of his wish to lock up. Diaz didn’t always enjoy the best of relationships with Dana White, but it’s thought that the pair went their separate ways on friendly-enough terms and so a new deal with UFC is not impossible.

Diaz fans may have to sit tight before he reveals his next move after meeting Paul in the boxing ring, but there’s an expectation that the future UFC hall-of-famer isn’t done with the franchise that made his name just yet.

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