UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley Ready To Bet His House on Nate Diaz Being His Next Opponent…
In the golden age of outspoken fighters, Tyron Woodley has been doing his best to make his voice heard over the rest. The UFC welterweight champion has made no secret of the fact that he wants his next opponent to be one of those ‘money fights’ that everybody seems to want these days.
Back in November, it seemed like he got his wish. A rumour spread like a wildfire that Nate Diaz was ready to end his post-McGregor hiatus and take on Woodley for the welterweight strap. Bizarrely, UFC President Dana White dismissed the reports as rubbish even though Woodley confirmed them.
Now though it looks as though ‘The Chosen One’ is close to getting his wish. Diaz is officially back in training and wants to make a comeback this year. The problem that the UFC has with Diaz is that he’s also demanding the most lucrative options available. Of course, after the two fights against Conor McGregor, who can blame him?
Woodley for his part is happy to throw down with the Stockton native. He told Brett Okamoto of ESPN that the fight is much closer to being finalised than anybody realises. Woodley said:
“There are conversations about Nate and I fighting in July. The UFC has offered Nate that fight. They just have to make it worth his while. I think I’ll fight Nate this year, and I think it will be my return to the Octagon. If I had to bet the house on it, that’s my next opponent.”
Let’s hope Woodley doesn’t have to bet his house on it.The point about offering Diaz enough money is an important one. If reports are to be believed that was the original barrier to this fight being made, as Diaz was demanding up to $15 million.
UFC 222 Too Soon
Anyone hoping that Woodley and Diaz will be leaping in to save UFC 222 will be sorely disappointed though. The UFC is desperately searching for a new main event after lightweight champion Max Holloway pulled out with an undisclosed leg injury.
“In four weeks? No. I wouldn’t fight him,” Woodley said. “If we’re fighting, I’m pretty sure it would have to be for my belt. Now, if they want me to fight him at a catchweight, not a title fight, I’m gonna have to drop to my knees and make a prayer to the most high for something like that. At this point in my career, if it’s a fight that’s not for my belt, I’m willing to step out of the box and do some different things.”
Sign it On
UFC President Dana White has repeatedly said that Rafael Dos Anjos will get the next welterweight title shot. But his word of late has been as reliable as a parachute with a hole in it. If the fight makes financial sense, it is going to happen. Exactly what to do with Diaz is a genuine problem for the organisation.
The Californian is too valuable a commodity to waste on anything that isn’t either a trilogy fight against Conor McGregor or a title fight. He’s currently ranked no. 8 in the lightweight division and can’t credibly be given a title fight soon. A win against Woodley could entice Conor McGregor back to fight for a third title, while a loss wouldn’t do too much damage to his value. Woodley just wants to cash his cheque.