Ahead of Bellator 285, which took place at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, Coker was asked about the promotion’s interest in signing Nate Diaz, and whether or not conversations have already taken place with the 37-year-old fighter.
Diaz recently became a free agent after completing his contractual obligations with the UFC. His main event submission victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 was the final fight on his contract.
“Well, we are definitely talking to him,” Coker said earlier this week. “We’ve reached out and I know he’s probably talking to everybody. He’s, I think, in a pretty good situation. I know he wants to fight Jake Paul. Jake Paul’s fighting, you know, against Anderson Silva on Showtime pay-per-view, which is our home network, so there’s some synergies here.”
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After the conclusion of Bellator 285, Coker clarified his comments, explaining that the promotion contacted his management team, but nothing further has occurred due to the exclusive negotiation period Diaz is under until December.
“Well, here’s the thing, is that my guys reached out to the management and the management came back and said, ‘Look, he still has an exclusive negotiation period,'” Coker told reporters at the Bellator 285 post-event news conference. “So, let’s see how that plays out.”
UFC contracts typically have a three-month exclusive negotiation period that the promotion has not waived with one of its former biggest stars. While Diaz has expressed he wants to explore options outside of the UFC for the time being, legally no other negotiations can take place during that period.