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Tyron Woodley Reveals Why Nick Diaz Has Not Yet Returned To The UFC

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 31: Nick Diaz leaves the arena after losing to Anderson Silva in a middleweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Silva won by unanimous decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Apparently, you should reconsider holding your breath while waiting for the return of Stockton’s own Nick Diaz this year, or at least that’s what the UFC’s welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has been telling us.

Diaz, who has finished serving his suspension from all pro-competition for testing positive for marijuana, has been reportedly in talks to make his long-awaited return to the octagon in the near future. His last fight, a 2015 five-rounder with Anderson Silva, ended in defeat (later overturned to a no-contest) for the elder-Diaz brother but barring three consecutive decision losses to three of the sport’s most respected fighters, Nick’s career has been one that has thrilled us all from the get-go.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 31:  Nick Diaz (L) takes a kick from Anderson Silva in a middleweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Silva won by unanimous decision.  (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

The former Strikeforce champion is still definitely one of the top welterweights on the planet and despite having no opponents tied down for his return, the rumour-mill has been running wild with theories concerning who would greet him back into the world of pro-MMA. BJPenn.com‘s Chris Taylor reported recently, however, that Nick was in fact, turning down several fights in recent times, for reasons that are – for the most part – uncertain right now.

One man who seemed more than willing to throw him name into the hat was the current UFC welterweight champ, Tyron Woodley, who on the back of his majority draw with Stephen Thompson at UFC 205, spoke to Chris Taylor on the latest edition of “Rapid Fire” about his views on Diaz’s choice not to sign and fight.

“I just asked Nick. I saw Nick in a night club. We hosted a party at Hakkasan. I was with TJ and Demetrious Johnson and Cody Garbrandt hosted his party there. So I see Nick Diaz there and went up and asked him. It is not like Nick is scared of fighting you know.”

“He’s not scared to fight me or Robbie or Conor McGregor. Nick wants to get paid man. He’s held out in the past and it has worked out in his favour. He went out there and fought Anderson Silva for close to a million bucks. He knows that he pushes the needle. Plus there is a card, 209, so he understands what he is worth to that card. So I can’t knock him for that. It’s more of a situation of him wanting to get paid.” Via MMA Junkie.

It’s pretty clear to see that Tyron’s mind is fixed upon the ‘big-money fights’ due to his persistent callouts directed at the sport’s biggest stars but in fairness to him, he seems to be fully aware of what he is doing and is simply trying to buildup the strength of his name-power.

“So all I am trying to do is fight the Robbie Lawler’s,” he continued, “I’ll fight the Nick Diaz’s , GSP’s and Conor McGregor’s so that I can become a name that enters into the legend-category. Then people will want to fight me for the same reason I want to fight Nick. That’s all it is. There is nothing personal. I respect him as a fighter.”

With belts exchanging hands at a remarkable rate these days, I can sympathise with Woodley’s view of course, but with unfinished business with Stephen Thompson left to be settled, I feel like he may draw some criticism if he doesn’t close that chapter in his career before moving onto the next one.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at [email protected]