Nate Diaz may have departed the UFC to box Jake Paul, but he’ll always be welcomed by the UFC, says UFC president Dana White.

Diaz fought out his contract and banked a huge payday when he boxed Paul in Dallas, Texas last weekend as he took Paul the distance in a losing effort in their 10-round boxing match.

And, despite Diaz’s UFC exit, UFC president White had words of support and praise for Diaz for his contribution to the UFC over the years.

Speaking at the Contender Series 57 post-fight press conference, and reacting to Diaz’s positive words about the UFC after his fight with Paul, White said, “We feel the same way about Nate. You know, always have.

“I’ve always joked around about dealing with the Diaz brothers. But you know, these two, you see it now. I mean, they’re two iconic fighters that, 20 years from now, everybody will remember and talk about and, you know, this will always be Nate’s house.

“Nate grew up here. He came in on The Ultimate Fighter. He fought some of the biggest fights ever here. And I don’t know about him fighting in the future, but this is always going to be his house. And, you know, we’ll see.”

White also praised Diaz for his performance against Paul in a bout that saw the former UFC lightweight contender concede a host of advantages to his opponent.

“For a kid pushing 40 years old, fighting a guy four weight classes bigger than him in boxing, and two in MMA, and going the distance, you know what I mean?

“At his age, against a f*****g 20-something-year-old kid. So far, he’s fared the best out of everybody (against Paul). He looked good. I’m happy for him.”