With rumors circulating for the better part of a week that Nate Diaz will return against Tyron Woodley, all hope for the fight appeared lost.
That’s because up until yesterday, everyone thought Nate Diaz turned down the UFC’s offer to fight for the welterweight world title at UFC 219.
However, the UFC welterweight champion revealed that the fight is still in the works, and he’s accepted it. Woodley also revealed that he should have an official answer from the Diaz camp within the next 24-hours.
As such, Tyron Woodley has entered full training camp mode, with Nate Diaz in mind as an opponent while preparing.
Via The MMA Hour:
“I don’t know. He (Diaz) said there wasn’t enough time.” Tyron Woodley said about Diaz. “He said I was a welterweight, he’s a lightweight, even though he’s fought at welterweight before and he fought Conor (McGregr) at ‘welterweight.’ It sounds like a lot of excuses to me, but you know what, I’m not going to call out a man. Maybe there wasn’t enough money on the table. I can’t go on record because I don’t know for 100-percent sure, but I believe part of them trying to go back to him and ask him about the fight again, they would have to go with more money. Because if you call and ask him with the same money, the same date, the same opponent, and you don’t have more money, then you’re basically just asking him again and he’s already said no.
“So hopefully they offer him a crap-load of money and we get the fight done.”
“I consider Nate not the type of grinding grappler, the static strength opponent that would present those problems (for my shoulder) — someone who’s going to be in the clinch, who’s defending takedowns, going for a lot of shots. Throwing a lot of power at Nate, I think that’s how you lose to Nate, when you just try to one-punch shot him, because he has a strong chin, as him and his brother have shown time and time again. They’re volume punchers, they’re cardio fighters. They try to do the mental warfare within the Octagon and before the Octagon.
“So, really, you never throw overhand rights to beat them, and I think I can stop him without my overhand right punch. He’s not going to try to take me down. I don’t necessarily have to take him down. But if wanted to, I can’t see it being much of a fight for him to stop me from taking him down.”
“It’s a risk and reward. If he would’ve beaten Conor the second time, everybody would’ve been like, ‘Oh my God, but Conor’s [a featherweight].’ If (Michael) Bisping would’ve beaten Georges St-Pierre, they’d be like, ‘Oh, well he’s really a welterweight.’ If someone’s going up to the weight, and especially if they competed at that weight before, then where’s the problem? There’s no problem when it’s (T.J.) Dillashaw talking about coming down and fighting Demetrious Johnson. [Nate]’s fought at welterweight before. It’s not like he’s a tiny guy and I’m overpowering him and I’m overwhelming him. I’m just a big welterweight in general.
“So it’s not like I’m just trying to bully poor Nate Diaz. I got offered the fight. I’m just trying to make it happen, and I’m just really curious why it’s not happening. What’s his logic for not fighting me? He got the same notice for the fight camp that I got, and actually, if I ain’t mistaken, I just saw him do some type of Ironman contest about a week ago, so he’s got to be in cardiovascular shape. It’s not like he’s going to fight a new training style that he can’t get ready for and prepare for. He’s going to fight the same Stockton style every time. I mean, he’s never changed his gameplan, never changed his style. So, what else is he going to do differently?
“It makes no sense (to not accept it). Put it like this, including myself, there’s not a bigger name at 170 than Nate Diaz right now. The only bigger name that was a bigger name because of what he’s done before his brother is [Nick Diaz], or Georges St-Pierre, none of whom have agreed to fight at 170 again. So with that said, it would be silly for me not to entertain the fight. I didn’t ask for the fight. It was offered to me. I just said yes to the fight.”
“Until I hear no, I’m not going to stop training. So when they say 24 (hours), I assume 48, maybe a little longer — 48 or 72 hours — because sometimes the Diaz brothers aren’t known to be the greatest negotiators, with returning phone calls and coming to terms on deals. So 24 hours to them could be three days, but this is my job. What, am I going to complain about training? I love training, especially when it’s an opponent that I respect, someone that brings some type of threat to me, gives me that anxiety and makes me pumped up to train.
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“I’ve been looking for that name, man. This would be the first opponent I get to fight that I get that high-profile fight that actually means something. The Carlos Condit was a high-profile fight, but [he wasn’t] into having huge star-power. Neither was Robbie Lawler. Neither were some of the other guys I fought and beat. But this is a guy who is directly connected to his brother Nick, directly connected to Conor McGregor, so it could really set me up to fight one of those guys afterward.”