There was no way to know that when Nate Diaz started a training camp, we’d be talking about a potential fight with Tyron Woodley. As soon as the word that UFC was trying to actually make this fight happen, it’s all anyone was talking about. The deal stalled after being halfway done, which prompted the UFC welterweight champion to publicly address Diaz and let everyone know that he hasn’t signed his contract yet. On FS1 last night after the UFC Sydney weigh-ins, Woodley put the Diaz brother on blast once again with his coach backing him up.
“I’m here. All I need is the paperwork sent — UFC 219, Dec. 30 needs a headliner. It’s been offered to me, it’s been offered to Nate Diaz. Unfortunately, one half has not accepted. So you guys, people listening and watching, you guys need to get the Twitter fingers and ask your man that said ‘Don’t be scared,’ why is he scared?’ Our sport is out of the blue at this point. So, there’s no real rules.”
“I’m a huge fan of the Diaz boys. I’m a huge fan of what they’ve done for our sport. I feel like it’s not about the rankings anymore. Sometimes the rankings are a little shaky. When you think about who’s put in the most work, the most time, is he not deserving of the world title based upon what he did? You know, fighting Conor McGregor; even before, just fighting in these wars. [Nick and Nate Diaz] are way bigger names than any other welterweight. Hey, I’d prefer either one.” — Tyron Woodley on FS1 for the UFC Sydney weigh-ins.
The UFC has been desperately trying to keep UFC 219 together and lock down the best fights they can despite injuries and negotiation stalemates. After Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm’s fight was finally put together, most assumed that would be the main event of the year-end card, but the pay-per-view still has a missing slot at the top. Nearly all of the welterweight contenders are tied up, Nate Diaz is still a big money draw, and a spectacle fight like this will certainly entice more people to stay home on Saturday night to see how it all unfolds.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/18/2017.