Tyron Woodley Believes Nate Diaz Will Be His Next Opponent
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley isn’t giving up on a showdown with Nate Diaz just yet.
Late last year when a main event was needed for the year end card at UFC 219, Woodley was approached about a potential matchup against Diaz that would serve as the headline fight for the event. Woodley happily accepted and was even willing to put off shoulder surgery for the opportunity to face Diaz on the card.
Unfortunately the bout never came together after Woodley claims Diaz priced himself out of the fight by asking for too much money. Now months later with Woodley still recovering from shoulder surgery, he’s got Diaz back on his radar after the former UFC title contender recently revealed that he wanted to return to action by May or June.
“I think that fight will happen,” Woodley told ESPN. “I think it will happen this year. I think it’s way more likely than people realize. 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.”
Obviously Diaz has hinted at his return later this year and the UFC is building a blockbuster card for the summer with a super fight between heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier headlining UFC 226 for International Fight Week 2018 in July.
Of course, Diaz getting a shot at the welterweight champion probably wouldn’t sit too well with the two top ranked contenders both champing at the bit to get at him. Rafael dos Anjos was previously mentioned as next in line to get a shot at Woodley and Colby Covington has been campaigning for that fight for months.
Meanwhile, Diaz is coming off a loss to Conor McGregor in his last fight and holds a 2-3 record at welterweight with another win against Rory Markham in a bout that took place at 177 pounds in 2010.
Still, Diaz possesses the kind of star power that would draw a lot of eyeballs to a fight like that and Woodley would love the opportunity to compete against an opponent to help draw attention to the card.
“I just want to do something that’s going to push me forward career-wise or push my legacy,” Woodley said. “I need both. I need super fights and I need to continue to knock off these rising contenders. I’ve been fighting the best of the best since Strikeforce. It’s not like I’m asking for anything that I haven’t paid my dues for. I had to earn this position the hard way.”