Since he won the UFC welterweight title in July of the previous year, Tyron Woodley has been clamoring for the “big money fights.” In December, he issued a challenge to Nick Diaz for a possible fight at UFC 209.
However, Diaz had apparently turned down Woodley’s challenge. The champion did clarify that the former welterweight title challenger did not do so out of fear. Rather, it was because Diaz knows what he is worth.
Speaking to Chris Taylor of BJPenn.com, Woodley recalled the time he personally spoke to Diaz when they bumped into each other at the Hakkasan night club in Las Vegas.
“It is not like Nick is scared of fighting, you know,” Woodley said. “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 favor.”
“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.”
Naturally, Woodley does get a say about who he intends to fight next, being the current world champion. But even so, he acknowledges that Diaz’s stock value is still much higher than his.
“I can sit here an act like I am Bruce Almighty but Nick Diaz is a bigger draw than me. He is a bigger name than me. Me fighting him and me wanting to fight Nick is because I recognize and realize that I am the world champion but Nick Diaz is a legend. He has had to fight the guys like Diego Sanchez, Paul Daley and Frank Shamrock. He has had to have wars with Georges and BJ Penn to get his name to where it is.”
“So all I am trying to do is fight the Robbie Lawlers, fight the Nick Diazes, GSPs and Conor McGregors, so that I can become a name that enters in to the legend category,” Woodley continued. “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.”