Nate Diaz explains why he turned down a title fight in 2017

By December of 2017, Nate Diaz was one of MMA’s biggest stars. The Stockton-native was the co-owner of the – then – most successful pay-per-view in the companies’ history. With his return against former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis looming this coming Saturday, Diaz has revealed that a certain rumour from late-2017 was, in fact, true.

The original main-event for UFC 219 was intended to be a lightweight unification bout between Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson. However, McGregor’s incident with Marc Goddard prevented the bout. The UFC desperately scrambled for a headlining bout, which eventually happened to be Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm. One rumoured suggestion was a welterweight title fight between champion Tyron Woodley and Nate Diaz.

Diaz held a record of 3-3 at 170lbs and hadn’t fought in over a year. His last fight was a loss to Conor McGregor. All those variables made it a questionable decision on the UFC’s behalf.

Nate Diaz recently did 40-minute sit-down interview with ESPN journalist Brett Okamoto. Amongst many other topics, Diaz explained why the fight never came to fruition. See what he had to say below:

“So, why am I going to fight for these people and go out of my way to try and fight when it’s like that and what I’m saying is that; with all the criticism that I got for not fighting too, especially for any fighter talking, you’re out of pocket,” said Diaz. “Shut your a** up, I still have more fights than any of you [that are] not fighting.”

“Like, I never called you guys, like, ‘Can I fight Khabib and Conor and GSP? Can I fight Tyron Woodley?’ That fight [Woodley] fell through because, they were like, short-notice, I’m 172lbs, 174lbs. They were like, ‘Hey, you want to fight welterweight title in like f*cking three weeks or something?’ and I’m like yeah, lets do this, but yo, give me something – we[‘re] gonna have to ‘money-up’ for this, but I’m with it whenever and I showed up, too.”

“I’m like, I’ll pop up and do my thing. And then, that’s how that fight went.”

How would that fight have gone down? Make sure to tell us in the comments and on our Twitter page, @ThePlanetMMA!

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