Toss out question: is the UFC required to provide a fighter a minimum number of fights per year? I was reading the front page article and Nate Diaz being put on the shelf and it made me wonder about this.
I think it use to be every 5 months was standard. A Fight offer every 5 months or they got paid their show money anyway.
It might have been revised since then. Who knows.
Now if a fighter turns down that contract then I don't know what happens, if UFC has to keep offering fights or if they fulfilled their obligation.
I think the details differ from contract to contract. It's part of what's negotiated. But turning down fights like in Nate's case automatically extends the time, so does getting injured. Retiring puts it on hold for 5 years I believe, which gets restarted if you take even one fight. If they don't get you a fight in that time frame they have to pay you even if you don't fight, which is why you see some top level guys fighting cans because their choice was to pay the fighter for nothing or throw a fight together. The closest the UFC can do to shelving you is offering you fights they know you don't want to get the timer restarted. I remember reading that Bellator doesn't do this but gives you the option to fight in other organizations with their approval if Bellator can't find you a fight.
Wouldn't it be better to just burn through your contracted fights and based on how you finish, renegotiate your contract whilst testing the free agency waters?