UFC Retains Right to Match Via Article XII: "Right to Match"

Published on July 19th, 2022 5:12 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



Nate Diaz is due for a big payday in the coming year. Earlier today, Nate Diaz finally got his wish - a fight that will end his contract with the UFC.

At UFC 279, Nate Diaz will take on Khamzat Chimaev in what should be a very one-sided match-up.

Is the UFC punishing Diaz for fighting out his deal and not re-signing with the promotion? I'll let you decide for yourselves.

There is no secret that Nate Diaz wants to finish out his deal with the UFC so that he can pursue a big money boxing match against Jake Paul. Both Paul and Diaz want the fight, and Diaz would stand to make millions of dollars.

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One potential roadblock for the Paul vs Diaz fight happening? The UFC's matching rights.

Standard in almost every UFC contract is Article XII: "Right to Match".

Let's assume that Diaz has this in his contract as well.

Even though Diaz would have concluded his deal with the UFC, the promotion will retain matching rights for ONE YEAR following the conclusion of Nate's deal with the UFC.

So what does this mean?

It means that if Nate Diaz and Jake Paul agree to fight prior to the UFC's "one year" matching rights window ending, the UFC would have the right to match Nate's deal with Jake Paul, thereby retaining Diaz.

Here is what Section 12.1 of the standard UFC contract says:

"12.1 During the one (1) year period after conclusion of the Term for any reason whatsoever (the "Matching Period"), ZUFFA shall have the option to match the financial terms and conditions of any offer made to Fighter for an Other Bout as defined in Section 3.6 of this Agreement.

Fighter shall not accept any offer or enter into a contract or agreement with any other promotional entity during the Matching Period without complying with this Section 12.1.

Prior to acceptance of any Offer made during the matching period, Fighter shall first deliver to ZUFFA a written notice of all material financial terms and conditions of the offer, including, but not limited to, the identity of the promotional entity making the offer.

Such notice shall constitute an exclusive, irrevocable offer (the "Fighter Offer" to contract with ZUFFA on the same financial terms and conditions)."

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Bleacher Report has a great breakdown of the standard UFC contract here, and we can assume that the same types of clauses are still used today.

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So, we can safely assume that if Jake Paul offers Nate Diaz millions of dollars for a fight, the UFC will strongly consider matching the deal to retain Diaz's services.

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So, what are Nate's options going forward?

1) He can take a year off and then negotiate with Jake Paul, thereby keeping himself out of the clutches of the UFC.

2) He can sign a deal with Jake Paul and potentially get matched by the UFC.

In either case, Nate Diaz is due for a very big payday after his Khamzat Chimaev fight.

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