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Morning Report: Tyron Woodley says he’s in discussions to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 226

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Earlier this week it was reported that Nate Diaz was willing to step in for the injured Max Holloway to save UFC 222. But while that doesn’t seem to be in the offing, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley says he thinks Diaz will be back in the UFC soon, challenging for his belt later this summer.

“I think that fight will happen,” Woodley told ESPN this week. “I think it will happen this year. I think it’s way more likely than people realize. There are conversations about Nate and I fighting in July. The UFC has offered Nate that fight. They just have to make it worth his while.

”I think I’ll fight Nate this year, and I think it will be my return to the Octagon. If I had to bet the house on it, that’s my next opponent.”

Diaz hasn’t fought since losing his rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August of 2016. The bout is the highest selling pay-per-view in UFC history. Since then, Diaz has been taking time off and demanding a huge payday to return to action.

Woodley has been campaigning for a Diaz bout since late last year when he wanted to fight the younger Diaz brother at UFC 219, but the fight never materialized. But Diaz recently took to social media to announce that he was ready to return to fighting, allowing Woodley to return to pursuing a fight with the former lightweight title challenger, though he admits he wouldn’t be willing to accept a short-notice fight to “save” UFC 222 unless his welterweight title wasn’t on the line.

“In four weeks? No. I wouldn’t fight him,” Woodley said. “If we’re fighting, I’m pretty sure it would have to be for my belt. Now, if they want me to fight him at a catchweight, not a title fight, I’m gonna have to drop to my knees and make a prayer to the most high for something like that.

”At this point in my career, if it’s a fight that’s not for my belt, I’m willing to step out of the box and do some different things.”

Diaz has spent the majority of his career as a lightweight but has recently suggested that moving back up to welterweight is in his future. He had a brief stint at 170 pounds, going 1-2 as a welterweight before moving back down to lightweight. His two fights with McGregor were a return to the welterweight division, albeit against the featherweight champion. Despite the size difference though, Woodley says he thinks Diaz would be willing to fight him if the UFC opened up the coffers.

“Do I think Nate will fight me?” asked Woodley. “Yes, for the right amount of money and the right time in history, I do,” Woodley said. “Is it a good fight for him? No. I’m a lot faster. I punch a lot harder. I can take him down. He’s not going to submit me. That said, it’s not a good fight for him. So, they have to make it up to him in dollars and cents.”

Should the Diaz fight materialize, presumptive No. 1 contender Rafael Dos Anjos, the former lightweight champion with a win over Diaz, would be left out in the cold. Dos Anjos has defeated three ranked contenders since moving up to the welterweight division, with his last outing a dominant decision win over former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in a performance that was intended to determine Woodley’s next challenger. Woodley says he’s still open to that fight but, if given his druthers, the welterweight champion says he would prefer the Diaz fight.

“I just want to do something that’s going to push me forward career-wise or push my legacy,” said Woodley. “I need both. I need super fights, and I need to continue to knock off these rising contenders. I’ve been fighting the best of the best since Strikeforce. It’s not like I’m asking for anything that I haven’t paid my dues for. I had to earn this position the hard way.”

Woodley anticipates a summer return, preferably on UFC 226, the UFC’s PPV event for International Fight Week currently headlined by a champion-vs-champion superfight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.


Ali. Ali Abdel-Aziz says Tony Ferguson is ‘probably never gonna fight again’ after UFC 223.

Towel. Valentina Shevchenko defends Priscila Cachoeira’s coaches’ decision to not throw in the towel.

$$. John Dodson still unsure if he’ll be paid after declining UFC Belem bout with Pedro Munhoz.

USADA. Jim Wallhead accepts nine-month USADA suspension for contaminated supplement.

CABMMA. CABMMA issues statement on controversial UFC Belem co-main event.


Perth presser.

KO of the Week.

Dana flexing that WME-IMg buyout money on swords and all I can think about is this.

Mitrione cageside for Rampage-Sonnen.

The latest Rizin Confessions.


The MMA After Hour. Ric’s picks and Twitter Fan Q & A.

Obviously Fight Talk. Previewing UFC 221 and discussing the possible Edgar-Ortega fight.


GSP is back to training.

Picking a fight.

Respect the hustle.

Tim Means unhappy with Tony Weeks.



This is why fighters shouldn’t be in charge of this decision. They are fighters and often too tough for their own good.

Jucao and Perry are now beefing.

Seems like a PR disaster to be paying fighters $250+$250 but I’m no promoter.

Dalby with some serious openness.

Fighting. It’s something we all do. We fight bullies at school. We fight to earn a living. We fight through sickness(mental & physical). We fight our inner daemons. We fight with our significant others, friends and family. We fight for the rights we believe in. We all fight our own fights, small and big ones. Every single day! For me, one of my biggest fights are coming up, literally and figuratively. Literally because I have committed to step foot in a cage to fight again after 1½ years away from the sport, after something that ended in me suffering 2 defeats in a row, the first ones in over 10 years of competitive fighting. But also figuratively. Figuratively because I have been battling a deep depression which resulted in alcoholism, apathy and hurtful behaviour towards the people I hold the dearest. Experiencing all of that and putting it behind me has been a very bumpy detour away from and back to the main-road that leads in the right direction. How do you come back after a downfall like that? Can you imagine the self-doubt? Can my body still handle a gruelling fight camp? Is my mind strong enough to handle the sessions where nothing is working, doubt sneaks in and the lingering injuries that undoubtedly lie ahead play with your head? Am I strong enough physically & mentally to not just take the fight but to actually go in there and unleash the hell & fury I have in me when believe in myself and I’m running on all cylinders(plus nitro)? Those are the questions that will get answered before summer arrives. Maybe I’ll get a major injury in the lead up to the fight. Maybe things won’t “click” when I’m finally in the cage. Maybe I will lose the fight. But theres only one way to find out. And that’s by fucking doing it! And doing it 110%! This is a fight to determine my future. Now is the time to prove to myself, my girlfriend, my friends, my family & the rest of the world what I’m made of. That I am going to follow up to the promises I made myself. And that is the real fight. If I do that, do the very best I can. Then I will win the fight in the cage. And the fight for my life! #LokomotivoDalby | #RoadToRedemption | #ThePhoenixWillRise | #FrateTrane

A post shared by Nicolas Dalby (@dalbymma) on

Very cool.

The struggle is real.


Josh Burkman (28-16) vs. Alex Morono (13-4-1); UFC Austin, Feb. 18.

Manny Bermudez (11-0) vs. Albert Morales (7-3-1); UFC on FOX 28, Feb 24.

John Dodson (19-9) vs. Pedro Munhoz (15-2, 1 NC); UFC 222, March 3.

Mizuki Inoue (12-4) vs. Milana Dudieva (11-7); Invicta FC 28, March 24.

DeAnna Bennett (8-3-1) vs. Karina Rodriguez (6-2); Invicta FC 28, March 24.

Kali Robbins (5-0) vs. Pearl Gonzalez (6-3); Invicta FC 28, March 24.

Minna Grusander (5-1) vs. Fernanda Priscila (2-1); Invicta FC 28, March 24.

Kerri Kenneson (2-0) vs. Chelsea Chandler (0-0); Invicta FC 28, March 24.

Jillian DeCoursey (1-0) vs. Rebekah Levine (1-0); Invicta FC 28, March 24.

Bec Rawlings (7-7) vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (5-3); UFC 223, April 7.

Yushin Okami (34-11) vs. Dhiego Lima (12-6); UFC on FOX 29, April 14.

Thiago Santos (17-5) vs. David Branch (21-4); UFC Atlantic City, April 21.

Corey Anderson (9-4) vs. Patrick Cummins (10-4); UFC Atlantic City, April 21.

Alexey Oleynik (55-11-1) vs. Junior Albini (14-3); UFC 224, May 12.

Alberto Mina (13-0) vs. Ramazan Emeev (16-3); UFC 224, May 12.

Davi Ramos (7-2) vs. Nick Hein (14-2); UFC 224, May 12.


1997: At UFC 12, the first ever UFC heavyweight champion was crowned when UFC 11 tournament champion Mark Coleman submitted UFC Superfight champion Dan Severn with a neck crank.

This was also the first UFC event to feature weight classes, with Jerry Bohlander winning the lightweight (sub 200 pounds) tournament that evening and Vitor Belfort winning the heavyweight tournament.

2009: Joe Lauzon submitted Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 117.

2013: At Bellator 88, Alexander Shlemenko knocked out Maiquel Falcao to win the vacant Bellator middleweight title.


This stuff is starting to get out of control. If Nate gets a WW title shot, lets just burn it all down because none of it means anything anymore. RDA deserves a title shot, and I have no idea who wants to see Nate vs. Tyron other than Tyron. I suppose today’s poll will let me know.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.



Do you want to see Tyron Woodley vs. Nate Diaz?

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If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

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