Tyron Woodley wants a fight with Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz seems to want the fight as well.
The lone holdout? No. 3 ranked welterweight Rafael Dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos is throwing heavy shade on Woodley for trying to drum up a “money” fight with Diaz. As the publicly proclaimed next contender to Woodley’s UFC welterweight title, he has good reason to do so.
“Tyron Woodley, man up and stop talk about a fight that makes no sense,” Dos Anjos wrote on Twitter. “Everyone knows that I’m the real contender. You want to fight a guy that has never beat a real welterweight in his whole life. Shame on you…”
@TWooodley man up and stop talk about fight that make no sense, everyone know that I'm the real contender. You want to fight a guy that has never beat a real welterweight in his whole life. Shame on you…
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 7, 2018
Nate Diaz is Not a Real Welterweight
Diaz, of course, famously fought UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, twice, at welterweight, though neither fighter considers himself a true 170-pounder. Aside from winning one of the two bouts with McGregor, Diaz last fought as a welterweight in 2011, losing back-to-back bouts to Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald that year at 170 pounds.
He hasn’t exactly made a strong case for a shot at the UFC welterweight title, but, of course, that’s not what Woodley and Diaz are angling for, especially considering they’d like to the see the fight take place on the promotion’s biggest event of the year, UFC 226, which caps off International Fight Week in July.
Woodley vs. Diaz Would Be a Money Fight, Not a True Title Fight
UFC 226 already is slated to feature a champion vs. champion bout between heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. There are also rumors of a potential bout between flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson putting his belt on the line against bantamweight titleholder TJ Dillashaw on the same card. In short, it would be a blockbuster event that would mean big money for Woodley and Diaz should they also land a spot on the UFC 226 fight card.
Dos Anjos understands the motivation, but he’s also tiring of rightful title shots being held up for money fights, when rightful contenders like himself are forever waiting in the wings for something they have earned.
“Tyron Woodley is only thinking about money,” Dos Anjos told MMA Fighting. “Of course, everybody wants to make money and needs money, but he’s running away from logic. He’s trying to force his hand and making a fight that makes no sense.”