UFC star Nate Diaz burst back on to the scene in recent weeks with his highly publicized announcement. Declaring this summer as his target for an Octagon return, Diaz gave the MMA scene a much-needed kick start…
The year so far for the UFC has been less than stellar. Main events have fallen apart and the promotion’s biggest stars have remained sidelined. With new owners WME-IMG looking to regain their investment, their most popular stars are becoming a rare commodity.
That’s where Nate Diaz comes into play. With Conor McGregor remaining out for the foreseeable future, Diaz needed to make a decision. Either wait out for that big money trilogy fight or come back and fight in his Irish rival’s absence.
According to recent reports, Diaz has chosen the latter. With a massive title fight against welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on the table, Diaz is one win away from being crowned the 170-pound king.
Nate Diaz vs. Tyron Woodley
Woodley himself said the fight with Diaz is close to done, making the TUF winner’s return all but certain. Given his reluctance to talk over the past 18 months since UFC 202, the following interview gives yet more hope that Diaz vs. Woodley is going to happen.
Speaking to ESPN.com in his first full interview since the Woodley title fight talks started, Diaz said he wants this fight more than any other right now:
Diaz on Woodley Title Fight
“I’m getting to the point where I’m sick of not fighting. I’m not getting any younger,” Diaz told ESPN. “I put that tweet out saying I wanted to fight in May or June, but I didn’t say who because I was weighing my options. And now, Woodley is my best option.
“I see him on TMZ every week, talking about me. I’m like, ‘What the f—? If that’s what you want to do.’ It’s not really my weight class, but I’m with it. I think it’s my title we’re fighting for. If he’s the one calling me out, whose title are we fighting for? Who’s the real champion here?”
“I’d like a good two or three-month camp,” Diaz said. “We’ll figure it out. There’s definitely going to be something. I’m trying to fight.”
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“They called me out of nowhere, when I wasn’t trying to fight nobody,” Diaz said. “They asked if I would fight Woodley and I said, “Well, I’d like a three-month camp.’
“I told them I’d fight him on shorter notice, but would send them what I wanted in the contract. It was nothing out of the norm. My boxing coach said something about $15 million in an interview, but that was never the number.
“Then I saw in the media, the UFC said they never approached me about it. I was like, ‘F— it then. I wasn’t the one asking for the fight.'”
“(Conor McGregor) is just living his life right now and he’s got a magnifying glass on him, whatever he’s doing,” Diaz said. “I don’t give a f— what he does.
“I’m sure he’s up and down. ‘Do I want to be in these lights? Why am I not in these lights? I need to get in the lights. I need to get out of the lights.’ It’s a crazy roller coaster.”