Although there has been no public announcement about the UFC trying to put the fight together, the champ is willing to do it.
When the rumors began to gain steam – oddsmakers even installed Woodley as a heavy favorite over Diaz in their opening lines – Woodley spoke to ESPN and confirmed that he is more than willing to take the fight.
“If Nate wants to go UFC 219, I’m ready,” Woodley said.
Woodley’s comment to ESPN piggybacks on his earlier comments to MMAWeekly.com’s Damon Martin, who recently interviewed the champion on his Fight Society podcast, where Woodley said that he should be announcing a fight within the next few days.
“Don’t be surprised if you see me in the next couple days announce a fight. It’s a sport about risk and reward. It’s a sport about becoming a legend. You look at guys that have stepped up on last minute and it changed their lives. I don’t think that I should be any different,” Woodley said.
While most people would have thought Woodley was talking about a fight with one of the division’s top contenders, it appears the UFC had other plans.
Reading deeper into Woodley’s interview on Fight Society, perhaps he was already alluding to the idea of a fight with Diaz.
“There’s a lot of guys in my weight class that are talking, they’re chirping, everybody wants the title, everybody wants to fight me, everybody thinks they can beat me. People are talking because they think I can’t fight. They think I’m injured to the point where I can’t compete and I’m not going back and forth with them so that gives them more wings to keep flying,” he said.
“At the end of the day, none of the people in my division right now are the fight that are going to get me to legendary status. Get me to the point where I’m a household name. I’m looking for that and I might have found that fight.”
Woodley has been on the sidelines dealing with a shoulder injury since his victory over Demian Maia at UFC 214 in July. Now that he’s started to heal up, it appears he is ready to help save the day for the UFC by giving them a main event for the year-end fight card slated for Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.
Attempts to put Conor McGregor or Cris Cyborg on the card have thus far failed, so Woodley appears to be ready to step in and save the day.
(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)