UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is campaigning for a fight with Nate Diaz on Dec. 30, but it looks like Diaz’s camp doesn’t expect the title bout to happen.
Diaz hasn’t fought since his rematch with Conor McGregor in August 2016, and his boxing coach Richard Perez told Submission Radio that the promotion is not paying enough to have Diaz fighting Woodley by the end of the year.
“The UFC doesn’t want to give Nathan the money,” Perez said. “You know, ’cause what Woodley’s trying to do, he’s trying to get his name up there and he wants to fight the best, so he wants to fight Nathan. But UFC doesn’t want to pay Nathan, so why fight him? We can fight McGregor (instead).
“I saw Woodley talking the other day about Nathan being scared, ‘scared homie,’ you know, but it’s not that. It’s not all about that, because Nathan ain’t scared to fight nobody, it’s the money, and Dana White and the UFC doesn’t want to pay him. But he deserves it.”
Perez says that Woodley is petitioning for a fight with Diaz because he knows it would do good business on pay-per-view after Diaz’s fights with McGregor.
“I mean, he says he signed his part already, Woodley did and Nathan hasn’t, but there’s a reason,” Perez said. “Because, you know just as well as I do, Nathan is on top and he needs to get paid what he deserves. He’s a people person. People want to see him and he’s popular right now, just like McGregor. So why doesn’t UFC do it when they made big money on the show when Nathan fights and McGregor fights?”
“Even if Nathan fights Woodley it’s going to be up there because of Nathan,” he continued. “So they’re gonna probably make, oh gosh, pay-per-view is going to be just out there because they’re curious on what Nathan’s going to do with Woodley. So they’re making big money, they’re pocketing a lot of it. You guys know it too. Oh gosh, it’s ridiculous.”
UFC 219 will likely be headlined by Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm for the featherweight championship, and Perez again mentions the McGregor trilogy when asked if the company’s final card of 2017 needs Diaz.
“Well, everybody wants to see McGregor and Nathan,” he said. “Woodley is out of the picture. I mean, he’s just blubbering now and talking cause he wants to get noticed, he wants to be up there in top too. I don’t blame him, that’s normal for a fighter cause he has the belt. He thinks the belt’s important, it’s not right now, it’s about who you’re fighting. That’s why he’s trying to get Nathan, he’s trying to get McGregor. But what everybody wants to really see is McGregor and Nathan. That’s all I ever hear.
“People texting me all the time, they call me all the time, it’s still constantly, “when are they fighting? That’s all we want to see”. That’s the fight, that’s the best fight to watch right now. You know, cause the last two fights were great, so the third one has to finish. We have to find out the outcome of that one. So that’s where it should be at now.”
Perez considers “two to three months” a perfect time for a camp before Diaz returns to the Octagon, and also has an idea of the number that the UFC should reach in order to convince him to fight again.
“15 million (dollars) easy. Easy. ‘Cause, I mean, he’s a star right now,” Perez said. “I mean, McGregor can’t even fight right now, he got suspended. And Woodley’s trying to fight everybody. He says McGregor doesn’t want to fight him, he says BJ Penn (sic) doesn’t want to fight him. He’s naming all these people that don’t want to fight him, you know, cause he’s trying to get his name, he’s trying to get up there, and nobody wants to (fight him). I mean, he’s got the belt. So what? The belt don’t mean nothing anymore. It’s about who you’re fighting (if you want) to make the money.”
Even though he doesn’t think the UFC belt means anything anymore, the boxing coach is confident that Diaz would win the 170-pound title if he fought Woodley.
“Well, to be honest with you,” Perez said, “I know Nathan would beat him because he’s not… Woodley’s – see, he’s fought guys like Robbie Lawler. Robbie Lawler wasn’t expecting that, he wasn’t expecting for Woodley to just come out and throw, and he kind of closed up a little bit, Robbie Lawler. Nathan won’t.
“Like I said, when he’s in tip top and not hurt, he’ll go out there and he’ll box him, he’ll outbox Woodley. Woodley, sure he’s fast, but he don’t have the reach, and Nathan’s fast too. Believe me, when he’s throwing combinations good, he’ll nail them. And if it goes on the ground, Woodley doesn’t have a chance.”