Signing a fight for Khabib Nurmagomedov has become a fight of its own.
UFC president Dana White said on Saturday that Nate Diaz turned down an offer to face the Russian lightweight. In responding to a fan on Twitter, White explained Diaz and others don’t desire a fight with Nurmagomedov.
“Nobody wants to fight Khabib,” White wrote.
Diaz, apparently put back by White’s comment, publicly blasted White in response, saying the UFC boss and the organization are “full of (expletive)” and he made no such refusal to fight.
Mike Kogan, Diaz’s manager, backed up his fighter’s stance to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday, adding that the offer to face Nurmagomedov was made last week. The UFC, according to Kogan, wouldn’t agree with terms laid out by Diaz’s camp.
“Nate didn’t turn down the fight,” Kogan said. “He asked for additional conditions which were turned down by the UFC so the [fight agreement] never happened.
“There’s a sentiment out there put out by the media and the UFC that Nathan is scared to fight and that is just not true.”
Diaz is no stranger to having run-ins with the UFC. Prior to his last fight, Diaz nearly refused to face Gray Maynard at the TUF 18 Finale last November in favor of attending his high school reunion. Ultimately, the fight card and a payday trumped Diaz’s reunion, and the fighter finished Maynard by technical knockout in the first round.
Nurmagomedov is undefeated at 21-0 and is quickly climbing the ranks of the UFC lightweight division. His last performance had him dominating Pat Healy through three rounds, en route to a unanimous-decision win.
White White wrote that no one wants to face Nurmagomedov, the recently victorious Michael Johnson said otherwise. The fighter took to the same social media platform to express his desire for a fight with the 25-year-old Russian.
“Well Dana White,” Johnson wrote on Twitter, “if Nate Diaz don’t wanna scrap with me, I think the people want me & Khabib Nurmagomedov.”
Kogan added that while the UFC refused their conditions for the bout agreement, the door isn’t completely closed for the fight to happen. Camp Diaz’s conditions have been made known, and all that is left is for the UFC and White to accept them.
“If we come to agreement, sure,” Kogan said when asked if they still desire a fight with Nurmagomedov.
(Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter)