Report: Nate Diaz Headed For Big-Money UFC Return

A close friend of Nate Diaz just claimed the Stockton star wasn’t only looking for a Conor McGregor trilogy in his return bout, and that scenario is reportedly developing rapidly. A report surfaced from ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto that Diaz and the UFC are in talks for a high-profile return for Diaz at August 4’s UFC 227 […]

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A close friend of Nate Diaz just claimed the Stockton star wasn’t only looking for a Conor McGregor trilogy in his return bout, and that scenario is reportedly developing rapidly.

A report surfaced from ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto that Diaz and the UFC are in talks for a high-profile return for Diaz at August 4’s UFC 227 event from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Diaz supposedly wants to return at the event in his home state and is also interested in one of the names the UFC has given him after turning down many top opponents in recent months.

According to MMA Fighting, however, neither of those names is Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov, so Diaz would likely be matched with a top 155-pound contender like Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier, or Kevin Lee.

There’s also the possibility, of course, that Diaz stays at welterweight, where he fought McGregor twice at in 2016, and meets welterweight champ Tyron Woodley in “The Chosen One’s” return from shoulder surgery last year. The fight has been discussed over the past year or so, and Woodley has repeatedly made it overtly apparent he wants a lucrative fight with a Diaz brother – be it Nick or Nate.

Out of action since his thin majority decision loss to McGregor at August 2016’s UFC 202, Diaz hinted at a comeback in “May-June” earlier this year. He’s reportedly turned down several fights with the top-ranked lightweights during his latest sit on the side, so the UFC must have come with a suitable amount of cash to bring the popular, polarizing Stockton slugger out of his self-imposed hiatus.

There’s been nothing official from the UFC on the awaited return as of yet.

If Diaz does decide to come back at the Calif.-based card, he would add another huge name to an event that already has an anticipated, bad blood-fueled rematch between bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw and former champion Cody Garbrandt.

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Quote: Nate Diaz ‘Not Just Looking For Conor McGregor’

It’s been almost two years since fans have seen Nate Diaz compete in the octagon when he lost a razor-thin majority decision to archrival Conor McGregor at August 2016’s UFC 202. The younger Diaz brother has stayed on the sidelines since, holding out for the monstrous trilogy fight with McGregor that has been looked at as […]

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It’s been almost two years since fans have seen Nate Diaz compete in the octagon when he lost a razor-thin majority decision to archrival Conor McGregor at August 2016’s UFC 202.

The younger Diaz brother has stayed on the sidelines since, holding out for the monstrous trilogy fight with McGregor that has been looked at as a foregone conclusion ever since ‘The Notorious’ tied the score at one apiece following Diaz’ shocking submission victory in their short-notice first match-up at UFC 196.

He’s remained active on social media in the time since as well, calling out many of the top lightweights on social media to elicit criticism from said fighters that he’s been turning down high-profile bouts at an incredible clip. He’s reportedly been offered opponents like Eddie Alvarez, Tony Ferguson, and even welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, only to turn them down and stay on the bench.

So even though Diaz claims he wants to be active, it seems he’ll only consider a return fight against McGregor, and for a longtime veteran clearly only motivated by the biggest and best payday right now, you can hardly blame him based on that point of view.

However, that’s not succinctly the case according to Diaz’ longtime friend and teammate Jake Shields, who revealed during this week’s edition of The MMA Hour (via MMA Mania) that Diaz is not only looking for McGregor but simply the biggest and most lucrative fight possible:

“He’s not just looking for Conor. He’s looking for a fight that makes sense and that’s going to give him a big payday and a lot of hype.”

There’s little evidence to doubt that any fight involving Diaz’ return would be big business no matter whom he fought, yet the obvious blockbuster is the third fight with McGregor that seemed like it was a stark eventuality but now may be in doubt considering the Irish former champion is awaiting court and perceived to be facing current 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov if and when he does return.

That would leave precious few opponents who truly move the needle for Diaz, and that count could be even fewer when names he would actually fight are taken into account.

It’s laughable to consider him a welterweight title contender, especially with Rafael dos Anjos facing Colby Covington for the interim welterweight title at UFC 225 and Woodley expected to return from surgery to fight the winner. That makes Woodley vs. Diaz unlikely, although there may not be another bout Diaz is willing to return for.

Shields may claim Diaz isn’t just looking for his last McGregor payday, but who else may he be looking for?

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Eddie Alvarez: Khabib Nurmagomedov Beat Number 11 To Win Title

Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez won the belt the old=fashioned way, picking off the top five as he closed in on and ultimately knocked out then-champion Rafael Dos Anjos. According to “The Underground King,” newly-crowned lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov won the gold under very different circumstances. Alvarez recently gave his thoughts on Nurmagomedov’s title-winning […]

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Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez won the belt the old=fashioned way, picking off the top five as he closed in on and ultimately knocked out then-champion Rafael Dos Anjos.

According to “The Underground King,” newly-crowned lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov won the gold under very different circumstances.

Alvarez recently gave his thoughts on Nurmagomedov’s title-winning victory over No. 11-ranked Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 and was rather critical of Nurmagomedov’s championship win, Not surprisingly, he thinks he’s the man to beat Khabib:

“I know, 100 percent, matchup-wise, wrestling, stylistically, I watch the champion fight a lot. I am the guy to beat the champion. Not Dustin Poirier. Not Conor McGregor. Not anyone. I understand who I lost to, who I won (against). I’m the best style matchup. The champion don’t want to fight me right now. He knows. He’s going to pick off the wounded gazelles one by one. He’s going to take the good style matchups. I understand. Take them. I’ll be waiting in the end.”

“What’s funny about this whole thing is, Khabib wasn’t a champion,” Alvarez said. “Now he’s the champion after beating no. 11. Let’s just get that out in the open. He says, ‘paper champion, who’s fake champion, who’s real champion?’ You beat no. 11, and now you’re champion. So think on that. Pray on that during Ramadan. No. 11, and now you’re champion.

“When I fought for the title, I literally fought no. 5, 4, 3, 2, then 1,” Alvarez continued. “I fought a champion, a guy who was a champion, who had a belt. That’s a real champion. I’ll continue to fight the best, and I’ll wait my turn. I’ll let the UFC do their job, pick who’s next in line, and I’ll be waiting there for all of them.”

Nurmagomedov remains undefeated with an unreal 25-0 record. The Dagestani thrashed a game Iaquinta over five rounds, and while ‘Raging Al’ certainly had his moments, Nurmagomedov ultimately won the lightweight belt after many attempts by the UFC to get him in a title fight.

Nurmagomedov has been scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson four times now, with Ferguson pulling out just days before UFC 223.

Meanwhile, Alvarez got back on track with a knockout over Justin Gaethje in December. Prior to that, illegal knees turned an otherwise thrilling fight with Dustin Poirier into a no contest. Now just two fights and one victory removed from losing his belt to Conor McGregor at UFC 205, Alvarez wants to be the first man to beat Nurmagomedov.

Does Alvarez have what it takes to beat the undefeated Nurmagomedov?

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Dana White Says Tyron Woodley Brought Him ‘Doctor’s Note’

The MMA world got some exciting news – in many different forms – this week, and part of that was the interim welterweight title fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington at May’s UFC 224 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Apparently still recovering from shoulder surgery, current 170-pound champion Tyron Woodley questioned the need […]

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The MMA world got some exciting news – in many different forms – this week, and part of that was the interim welterweight title fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington at May’s UFC 224 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Apparently still recovering from shoulder surgery, current 170-pound champion Tyron Woodley questioned the need for another interim belt, but it was reportedly due to him turning down an opportunity.

Although he did fight in four title fights in just under a year from July 2016 – July 2017, Woodley has been out since undergoing a procedure for a torn labrum suffered in his incredibly boring decision win over Demian Maia at last July’s UFC 214.

And according to UFC President Dana White, “The Chosen One” likely won’t make his return to the Octagon until August 2018 at the earliest:

“Tyron Woodley, we were trying to get him to fight,” White told UFC Tonight. “He came back with a doctor’s note that says he is injured and cannot fight until August.”

Prior to his victory over Maia, Woodley had successfully defended his title twice against Stephen Thompson, fighting “Wonderboy” to a majority draw at UFC 205 and winning a decision in their rematch at UFC 209.

Upon his return, it’s likely that Woodley would take on the winner of the bout between dos Anjos and Covington, but the welterweight division is moving forward as a whole as well.

For example, Kamaru Usman will face off against Sanitago Ponizinibbio in the main event of UFC Fight Night 129 on May 29, 2018 in Chile.

Then, Thompson and rising contender Darren Till will meet in the main event of UFC Fight Night 130 on May 27, 2018 in Liverpool.

Which fight are you most looking forward to and who would you like to see Woodley square off with upon his return?

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Tyron Woodley Reacts To Interim Title Bout Rumors

Some surprising news surfaced in mixed martial arts (MMA) yesterday (Thurs., March 22, 2018) when a report arrived the UFC was targeting an interim welterweight title bout between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington at May’s UFC 224 from Rio de Janeiro. Upon second glance, it may not be all that surprising considering the UFC’s […]

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Some surprising news surfaced in mixed martial arts (MMA) yesterday (Thurs., March 22, 2018) when a report arrived the UFC was targeting an interim welterweight title bout between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington at May’s UFC 224 from Rio de Janeiro.

Upon second glance, it may not be all that surprising considering the UFC’s extreme focus on interim title fights over the past year-and-a-half or so, but the timing was a bit odd because divisional champ Tyron Woodley, although on the sidelines since last July with a shoulder injury, was planning to return this summer.

So the outspoken 170-pound champ not surprisingly spoke up on the situation on this week’s episode of UFC Tonight (via MMA Weekly), detailing his recovery and projecting a July return:

“I feel really good. I had surgery in December. I had two series of PRP, as well as stem cell injections to my shoulder. I have one more series in April. After that, I’ll be in training camp.

“I fought four world title fights in 12 months, if anybody deserves to heal and be back at 100 percent (it’s me). I will be back when it’s time for Tyron Woodley to be back.

“My projection is July. The doctors are telling me that. I’m feeling good about it. I’m healing up very well. I’m back to training again. After I do that third series of PRP and stem cells, I’m gonna be 100 percent. Somebody is getting hurt.”

With Woodley predicting he’d be back in three months, he predictably scoffed at the prospect of an interim title being made after he had fought so often the year prior:

Woodley is on the mend, but his next fight is unknown in terms of date and opponent. He urged everyone to be a little patient with him, insisting that the top-ranked combatants in the deeply talented welterweight division would all get sent packing one by one.

He believes it’s an exciting time for the weight class, with surging names like dos Anjos and Convington joining rising contenders like Darren Till and Kamaru Usman stirring things up on social media, even if Woodley believes they ultimately don’t really want to face his jaw-dropping power:

“Everybody is gonna get it. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a matter of when. At the end of the day, every welterweight that wants to be at the top is gonna have to see me at some point,” Woodley said when asked about who is next for him.

“I could fight (Rafael Dos Anjos), I could fight Colby (Covington), I could fight (Kamaru) Usman, I could fight Darren Till. It’s a good time for the sport because I’ve got the red dot on me, but to be honest, I don’t think any of these guys want to see me. I’ve already beat the toughest guys in the division. I’m the champion for a reason. I got here the old school way,” he continued.

“They are doing what they are supposed to. They’re supposed to want to fight me. They’re supposed to want to be the UFC champion, but it’s not gonna happen.”

‘The Chosen One’ is correct in his suggestion that the welterweight division is buzzing with top contenders and talent at the present moment, but the issue is all of them are just talking about fighting each other instead of actually sorting out the mess at the top.

With dos Anjos rumored to face Covington in Brazil and Till supposedly headlining UFC Liverpool against former title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, the division should get some much-needed direction in the somewhat near future.

If and when it does, the returning ruler will hopefully have his next rival.

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Rumor: Interim Welterweight Title Bout Targeted For UFC 224

With welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on the sidelines, the 170-pound division could move on with an interim title match very soon. And it may contain two very high-profile contenders. A report surfaced earlier today from BJ Penn’s Chris Taylor detailing that multiple sources have confirmed to him a Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington interim […]

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With welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on the sidelines, the 170-pound division could move on with an interim title match very soon.

And it may contain two very high-profile contenders.

A report surfaced earlier today from BJ Penn’s Chris Taylor detailing that multiple sources have confirmed to him a Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington interim title fight is in the works for May 12’s UFC 224 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Although not finalized, it is reportedly expected to be soon:

Dos Anjos has appeared reinvented at welterweight after ditching the draining weight cut at his former home of 155 pounds, a division where he became the UFC champion but ultimately decided to move up following two consecutive losses to Eddie Alvarez and Tony Ferguson.

He’s been on a tear ever since, most recently taking out former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler after wins against Neil Magny and Tarec Saffiedine.

Covington, on the other hand, has become MMA’s public enemy number one after calling out a large portion of the UFC roster whether they fight at 170 or not.

The brash, Brazil-blasting contender has won five straight fights in a row with his most recent a unanimous decision over Brazilian fan favorite Demian Maia last October, a fight after which he called the Sao Paulo crowd “filthy animals” and had to be escorted out of the stadium by security.

Another trip to the hostile territory is apparently in the works for Covington, and you can’t deny his gall for going back to Brazil.

UFC 224 is currently headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington.

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