Okay folks, we have a lot to digest here, so I am going to do the best I can to break this all down as simply as possible.
As most of you know, this past weekend, Conor McGregor found himself in the spotlight once again, and this time, for the wrong reasons. While attending his teammates fight at Bellator 187, McGregor jumped the cage after the round (and what most assumed the fight) was over, to congratulate his friend. The video below is a much better visual and explanation as to what happened, and you can form your own opinions.
Since this event, there have been rumors and speculations thrown around and talked about in every possible way, from McGregor being suspended, to being stripped of his title, or what seems to be the most truthful report, that he has been pulled from his potential UFC 219 main event at the end of this year, where he was likely to defend his belt (against who, we still do not know).
The UFC is desperate for a huge main event on this card, as the end of the year card’s a usually a huge draw and a huge deal for the UFC, and right now UFC 219 is stuck in no-man’s land. While the card certainly has some big names, and shouldn’t struggle to hit PPV marks, we all know Dana White and the UFC matchmakers would like to bolster the card.
Whether we believe that Conor McGregor was ever actually going to be on the card, or if the UFC is just using this situation to “punish” him for his actions is unclear and will probably be unclear forever.
So with all of this being said, we have had a huge new rumor being thrown around in the last 36 hours or so, and while some fans might not like it, I could care less about any of their opinions! The rumors are swirling that Tyron Woodley, who, other than Stipe Miocic, is the only UFC champ who would likely be able to fight come December, will be headlining the card. Against who you might ask? Well, none other than Nathan Donald Diaz.
Yes, you read that right. Not Nick Diaz, the career welterweight, who has for over a decade been one of the best 170-pounders in the world, but instead, his (not so little) little brother. While many fans have been holding out hope that Nick Diaz would make his UFC return this year, after having his marijuana suspension reduced, it doesn’t seem like we will see Nick in the octagon anytime soon, if ever.
Nate Diaz on the other hand has been clear that he is waiting for his trilogy with Conor McGregor, and that he will be paid handsomely for that fight, or he too may be done with the UFC. Well Nate, it looks like the UFC may not only be matching your hand, but raising you one as well.
Woodley is coming off of two successful title defenses, both of which were candidates for the worst fight ever, not only just this year. So what does the UFC do? They find someone who is not afraid of Tyron’s power, not afraid to brawl and push the pace, and a fan favorite fighter.
However you spin it, this fight is a win-win for everyone. Nate wins? Him and Conor McGregor have their trilogy, with both belts on the line, in the biggest fight in the history of combat sports. Sounds pretty good right?
Woodley wins, he proves he can beat whoever the UFC throws at him, gets more respect from the fans who have completely turned on him, and he has the opportunity to choose from a plethora of top welterweight contenders.
I say we do it. Screw it, right? Nate Diaz is a big lightweight, and would have no problem jumping up to 170 pounds and competing with the top 10. He likely would have had a career at 170 if it wasn’t for Nick Diaz being atop the division for their entire careers. Diaz would have no issues going to the ground with Woodley, as it would be interesting to see Diaz’s jujitsu vs. Woodley’s wrestling, and in the standup, while Tyron has the advantage, Nate fears no man, and would stalk him down the whole fight, which would at the bare minimum make Tyron Woodley engage his opponent for the first time in his last 2 fights.
I’m in. I don’t care if it makes no sense or if the UFC is turning into a sideshow. Let’s run this.
My good friend Brett Okamoto over at ESPN broke it down further for those who would like some more clarification on the situation.