Nate Diaz admits he was “stuck in a cage” as UFC legend targets boxing fight

Nate Diaz believes he would have been boxing throughout his career had he not been forced to stay with the UFC.

The Stockton native fought out the final fight of his UFC contract by defeating Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 earlier this month to end his stint with a flourish. Diaz’s win has put him in the shop window for a number of potential opponents in the boxing ring, as he looks to seek more lucrative reward for his fighting exploits.

One heavily-linked opponent is YouTube star Jake Paul who has already fought and defeated two former UFC fighters in the shape of Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley. And Diaz believes Paul is one of a number of options he could explore, and is even willing to step in with the sport’s leading names.

“He’s [Jake Paul] a possibility,” Diaz told Boxing Social when discussing a potential bow in the squared circle. “The best-named boxers here are a possibility. Anybody who wants to fight unless you’re in the toughest tier, don’t even play with me. I’m ready to box anybody. I was stuck in the cage.

“I would’ve been boxing the whole time. And if I wasn’t getting kicked on the leg, my boxing would look a lot more crisp anyway. So whatever people think they saw about me, they don’t even have a clue about.”

Diaz faced an extremely long wait to round off his time in the octagon having not been in action since his defeat to Leon Edwards last June. He was linked with a number of opponents including Dustin Poirier and Vicente Luque but a fight finally materialised with Khamzat Chimaev after several pleas to be released.

Nate Diaz is eyeing a future in the boxing ring

Nate Diaz is eyeing a future in the boxing ring
Zuffa LLC)

Diaz ultimately fought Ferguson when Chimaev missed weight and left the promotion in style by choking out his rival. The UFC veteran had previously admitted he was eager to touch gloves with Paul first in a fight last year but was unable to negotiate after being tied down to his now expired UFC deal.

Diaz even wants to create his own promotional label to fight under, with plans put in motion last year to ensure he will be given a significant platform to return. Having shown a unique striking ability during his UFC tenure, Diaz wants to go one better than his rival Conor McGregor when making the switch to the ring and show young fighters how to takeover the sport.

“I want to get out of the UFC for a minute and show all these UFC fighters how to take over and own up another sport how you’re supposed to do it,” he said. Because Conor McGregor didn’t know how to do it. None of these other fighters know how to do it. So I’m going to go out there and I’m going take over another profession and become the best at that.”

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