Nate Diaz Targets Tyron Woodley as His Next Opponent in Return to UFC

Nate Diaz is ready to return and he likes the idea of a showdown with welterweight champion Tyron Woodley

If Tyron Woodley wants to fight, Nate Diaz is more than happy to grant his wish.

A day after Woodley said that he expected Diaz to be his next opponent in the UFC, the former title contender has responded by saying that he’s definitely interested in fighting the welterweight champion.

Diaz hasn’t fought since 2016 when he lost a majority decision to Conor McGregor but he seems to like the idea of facing Woodley in his return to action, especially with the champion dropping his name so frequently lately.

“I’m getting to the point where I’m sick of not fighting. I’m not getting any younger. 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,” Diaz said when speaking to ESPN

“I see him on TMZ every week, talking about me. I’m like, ‘What the f–k? 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?”

Diaz certainly hasn’t spent most of his career competing at welterweight but a fight against Woodley might be a good enough reason to compete at 170 pounds again.

During his career with the UFC, Diaz has gone 2-3 as a welterweight with one of those wins coming against Conor McGregor, who is not a true 170-pound fighter. Diaz did defeat Rory Markham in a catch weight bout at 177 pounds, but otherwise his lone victory against a true welterweight came against Marcus Davis back in 2010.

All that aside, the UFC wants to book big fights and there may not be one bigger for Diaz right now — outside of a trilogy with McGregor — than to put him into the cage with Woodley.

Of course, Diaz earning a title shot off a loss after more than a year away defies logic but that’s never stopped the UFC from pulling the trigger on a bout of this magnitude before.

As far as that third fight with McGregor goes, Diaz doesn’t seem too concerned about that right now although it’s well known that the first two fights are two of the most lucrative in UFC history so it’s tough to imagine a trilogy could be in the works for the future.

“He’s just living his life right now and he’s got a magnifying glass on him, whatever he’s doing. I don’t give a f–k what he does,” Diaz said. 

“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.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.