RIZIN Eying Floyd Mayweather vs. Nate Diaz
RIZIN President, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, was recently interviewed by MMA Mania, and discussed the possibility of making an offer to free agent Nate Diaz.
Sakakibara, who has dealt with elder Diaz brother Nick before, said pursuing a deal with Nate Diaz is certainly on the table. He even suggested pairing Nate in an exhibition bout with Floyd Mayweather.
“Nick and Nate, they both have a great personality, their fighting style is very exciting, and we’ve known them since the PRIDE days,” Sakakibara said. “We had Nick fight in PRIDE before and we’ve known them from way back.
“So, if we were to do something with Floyd again, we always have to talk about an opponent. We do think we’re at a point where we can’t just only focus on the Japanese market anymore.
“We have to target the international audience. So, with that said, Floyd’s opponent doesn’t have to be a Japanese fighter anymore. It’s just one possibility thinking about the future.
“Not only Floyd’s opponent, but Nate Diaz as an individual has a great amount of character, fight style, and a great following internationally. So, as an individual, he would definitely be somebody we’d be interested to be talking to.”
Nate Diaz competed last in the UFC back in September at UFC 279. He submitted Tony Ferguson in an epic fan-favorite matchup and finished up his UFC contract on a high note.
Now, Diaz is looking to “take over” another sport outside of the UFC – that sport likely being boxing, as Diaz has always expressed an interest in competing inside the squared circle. A potential opponent could be YouTube star Jake Paul.
According to Sakakibara, he believes there’s a legitimate possibility that Diaz beats Mayweather in a potential exhibition boxing bout, and thinks promoting the “What If?” factor would be huge for a potential event featuring the pair.
“Nate Diaz might even have a chance of beating Floyd, you know?” Sakakibara said. “And for us to promote that ‘what if’ factor is definitely something that we need to promote for these exhibitions against Floyd.
“Making the people think maybe … that ‘if’ factor, Nate Diaz can bring all of that, so, we do think it’s a great idea.”