The situation stems from Woodley and Diaz both publicly talking about how a fight between them was being talked about late last year. The fight never materialized.
The fervor ramped up again recently when Woodley was asked, if he were to bet the house on who his next opponent would be, who did he think he would be fighting next. Pressed, he answered Nate Diaz.
Questioned about Woodley’s response, White, on a recent episode of UFC Tonight said, “He’s full of s–t. That fight was never made. [Woodley] couldn’t be more wrong. He couldn’t be more full of s–t. It’s absolutely not true. It’s so not true that our lawyer actually his manager up and said he needs to stop saying these kinds of things cause it’s absolutely not true.”
The disconnect appears to be in the reality of what was said. White appears to believe that Woodley was saying that the fight was, at one time, a done deal. The champ insists that is not at all what he said, and rebuked White’s assertion on a recent episode of his TMZ Sports web series “The Hollywood Beatdown.”
“I think the fight between me and Nate Diaz will happen at some point in my career. I’m entitled to think whatever the hell I want to think. I didn’t say, ‘Hey, the UFC has a bout agreement, we’re in the process of negotiations, Dana White called me and offered me the fight.’ So everyone took that and they ran through the roof with their perception of what that meant,” a fired up Woodley explained.
“I don’t want people to think that I’m full of s–t, as my boss said, and that I’m making this s–t up. That a fight with me and Nate was never talked about in December and has never been brought up since then; that is bulls–t. It has. Did I get a contract to fight Nate? No, I did not. So, if I’m not thinking about the highest prize as a prizefighter, I am a complete idiot. I should suicide slap myself.”
There is a faction of fans that have been heavily critical of the UFC for trying to put together what has become known as “money fights” or bouts that are formed simply for promotional value with little regard to the competitors’ current standing in the sport or the UFC’s official rankings.
Georges St-Pierre returned from a four-year hiatus to challenge for and win the UFC middleweight title after having never fought in the division before. He then vacated the champion a few weeks later.
Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz have fought twice. Once, on short notice to save a main event, the other time because McGregor wanted a rematch and the UFC new it would sell.
While many fans want to see champion like Woodley get back to the business of fighting the next top contender – which is Rafael dos Anjos in his case – Woodley insists that it would be an ignorant move on his part to fight purely from the sporting aspect when he is a prizefighter. He wants to be fighting for the biggest prize possible, and that doesn’t always come from facing the next best contender.
“Who are the guys that are in the UFC that have the biggest names? Nate [Diaz], Nick [Diaz], Conor [McGregor], Georges St-Pierre. Who have I asked to fight? Is it because they’re an easy fight or because these motherf—ers have some juice right now? So I need their fans, I need that juice, and I need that money.”
(Video courtesy of TMZSports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)