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Tyron Woodley responds to claim Nate Diaz fight was never offered: ‘Delusional Dana constantly demotes me as a fighter’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Tyron Woodley has had enough.

A day after UFC president Dana White told reporters that Woodley vs. Nate Diaz was never in the works for UFC 219, Woodley reached out to MMA Fighting to respond to White’s claim.

“Delusional Dana constantly demotes me as a fighter when the job is to promote his fighters, especially champions,” Woodley said. “Why would I get in camp, and why would Nate give a 15 million dollar purse request if there was no fight? It’s obvious they haven’t found their blockbuster headliner yet. This was a reality, and they know it. The inability to come to financial terms with Nate killed it.”

On Tuesday, White said that a UFC lawyer offered the fight to Woodley and Diaz but that it was never an official fight offer.

“One of our attorneys here started playing matchmaker and -- he has a good rapport with the Diaz brothers -- and he basically said [to Nate Diaz], 'What if you could fight Tyron Woodley?' Me and Sean (Shelby) were like, 'How does he deserve to fight Tyron Woodley? There's a f*cking list of guys that are waiting to fight Tyron Woodley and this dude's gonna fight ... what are you talking about?’

“So he kind of went off the reservation a little bit and started playing matchmaker. That's why you started hearing Woodley saying, 'I got offered a fight with Nate Diaz,’ and we're like, 'No, there was never a fight.' So there was really never an offer for Woodley vs. Diaz. That's not true.

First of all, Woodley's been talking about, 'I need shoulder surgery. I need shoulder surgery,' and then ... 'I'll fight Nate Diaz' and then starts calling him out and shit. It was a nightmare. None of that was true.”

The “lawyer” White is referring to is Hunter Campbell, who is the UFC’s general counsel. Since joining the promotion approximately nine months ago, Campbell has been involved in some of the most important contract negotiations with the UFC’s top stars. He is one of the most powerful executives in the company. Multiple sources confirmed the fight was offered to both men but never became a reality due to financial reasons. Woodley talked about the offer on last week’s episode of The MMA Hour.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Woodley and White haven’t seen eye to eye. They have had public disagreements since before Woodley won the UFC welterweight title up to the recent aftermath of Woodley successfully defending the title against Demian Maia when White said Woodley’s performance in the fight made him lose out on a chance to fight Georges St-Pierre (even though St-Pierre had no interest in fighting Woodley).

Woodley injured his right shoulder in that fight. He told MMA Fighting on Wednesday that he’s scheduled to have surgery on it in December and is expected to be out for at least four months.

UFC 219 will now be headlined by Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm for the UFC women’s featherweight title. The event takes places Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.

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