UFC 219 is six weeks away, but the promotion’s year ender event still doesn’t have a headliner.
Nate Diaz’s strength and conditioning coach took to social media to say that the #6 ranked lightweight is already in training camp. He also said that it is a “champ camp,” hinting that Diaz would be getting a title shot.
Tyron Woodley also alluded to a possible title defense against a guy outside welterweight.
"Don't be surprised if you see me in the next couple days announce a fight," Woodley told FloCombat. "It's a sport about risk and reward. It's a sport about becoming a legend. You look at guys that have stepped up on last minute and it changed their lives. I don't think that I should be any different.
"...At the end of the day, none of the people in my division right now are the fight that are going to get me to legendary status," he added. "Get me to the point where I'm a household name. I'm looking for that and I might have found that fight."
So is Woodley facing Diaz? Well apparently it is being discussed, and the UFC is trying to “get creative” for their year ender.
This was the rabbit in the hat I eluded to yesterday on the show. No deal yet, I’m told. They are getting creative. Couple other ideas, too. Event is 6 weeks away and no main event. https://t.co/96XuOBHzll— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 15, 2017
Despite what Conor McGregor and Dana White may have claimed about his “massive” size (three times bigger!), Diaz has spent most of his career as a lightweight. His last two bouts have technically been at welterweight, but he did face a fellow 155’er in McGregor.
He did win two bouts against Rory Markham and Marcus Davis back in 2010, but Diaz’s previous stint at 170 lbs didn’t end so well as he was dominated by much bigger grapplers in Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald.
If they do end up granting this title shot to a lightweight coming off a loss, there surely will be even more uproar about the matchmaking process and the legitimacy of their championships. At the same time, it will also likely be Woodley’s best selling title defense to date. And from the looks of it, that’s one of the main motivators for the WME-IMG owned company.
Diaz would be a big underdog in that match up against Woodley. Although it is also interesting to note that if he indeed pulls off the big upset, it sets up an even more lucrative trilogy, with McGregor going for his third belt in as many divisions.