The long-awaited return of Nate Diaz seems to be edging closer and closer with each passing day. The speculation of opponent may come to an end now that Diaz has stated that his desire is a title shot with Tyron Woodley.
For the past few weeks speculation has grown as to who Nate Diaz would face upon his much-awaited return.
A number of match-ups were fantasised by MMA fans, while fighters such as Eddie Alvarez, Kevin Lee and Cub Swanson all put their names forward.
One fighter who also threw his name in the hat was welterweight champion Woodley.
Woodley last defended his title in a much criticised bout with Demian Maia. Since then ‘The Chosen One’ has had shoulder surgery and is yet to return to the octagon.
Woodley has long been campaigning for a big money fight, or what he describes as a ‘legacy fight’.
In the names Woodley has campaigned for, Diaz was up there with Georges St-Pierre and Conor McGregor.
Now, it appears that Woodley did garner the attention of the younger Diaz brother.
Speaking to ESPN, Diaz declared his intentions:
“I’m getting to the point where I’m sick of not fighting; I’m not getting any younger, I put that tweet out saying I wanted to fight in May or June, but I didn’t say who because I was weighing my options. And now, Woodley is my best option.
“I see him on TMZ every week, talking about me. I’m like, ‘What the (expletive)? If that’s what you want to do.’ It’s not really my weight class, but I’m with it. I think it’s my title we’re fighting for. If he’s the one calling me out, whose title are we fighting for?
“Who’s the real champion here?”
While Diaz is certainly one of the few remaining genuine stars in the world of the UFC right now, there would be some flaws with the Stockton fighter jumping the queue to a welterweight title shot.
Though Diaz did earn a welterweight victory in March 2016, this came over McGregor, who is clearly a natural lightweight, as is Diaz for that matter.
Aside from this victory, Diaz’s last welterweight victory came all of eight years ago in 2010 over 100 UFC pay-per-views ago at UFC 118 over Marcus Davis.
Of course, one of the main issues with a his return has been the financial side of things. However, the only man to take down McGregor inside the UFC octagon says this isn’t a problem.
“We’ll figure it out, There’s definitely going to be something. I’m trying to fight. … I told them I’d fight him on shorter notice but would send them what I wanted in the contract.
“It was nothing out of the norm. My boxing coach said something about $15 million in an interview, but that was never the number.”
Were this title bout to take place, it would leave a sour taste in many welterweight contenders’ mouths.
Rafael dos Anjos has been campaigning for a shot at Woodley for a number of months now and is seen by many as the number one contender.
Will the star-power of Diaz see him overtake Dos Anjos? It certainly seems a strong possibility.