Will Tyron Woodley vs. Nate Diaz get done for UFC 219?
Various reports this week, including those made by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, revealed that discussions have taken place for a Dec. 30 matchup between Woodley, the reigning UFC welterweight champion, and lightweight superstar Diaz. Since the news first broke, Woodley has campaigned for the bout on social media and in the press, even telling TMZ that he already signed a contract to fight Diaz at UFC 219.
Woodley continued to put Diaz on blast Friday, calling Diaz out while serving as an analyst for the UFC Sydney weigh-in show on FOX Sports 2.
“I’m here,” Woodley said. “All I need is the paperwork sent — UFC 219, Dec. 30 needs a headliner. It’s been offered to me, it’s been offered to Nate Diaz. Unfortunately, one half has not accepted. So you guys, people listening and watching, you guys need to get the Twitter fingers and ask your man that said ‘Don’t be scared,’ why is he scared?”
Woodley (18-3-1) is unbeaten over his last six fights. He has defended the UFC welterweight title three times since capturing the belt with a first-round knockout over Robbie Lawler. Diaz (19-11), meanwhile, has not competed since his blockbuster Aug. 2016 loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 202.
A potential matchup between Woodley and Diaz has been met by mixed reactions within the MMA community, with many criticizing the bout for its disregarding of the UFC’s rankings, and Diaz’s general lack of activity or success at 170 pounds. But Woodley defended the matchup on Friday, pointing to Diaz’s decade-long tenure in the organization.
“Our sport is out of the blue at this point. So, there’s no real rules,” Woodley said.
“I’m a huge fan of the Diaz boys. I’m a huge fan of what they’ve done for our sport. I feel like it’s not about the rankings anymore. Sometimes the rankings are a little shaky. When you think about who’s put in the most work, the most time, is he not deserving of the world title based upon what he did? Fighting Conor McGregor; even before, just fighting in these wars.”