One of the biggest might-have-beens in the UFC for 2017 was a rumored welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Nate Diaz for UFC 219. But after the $15 million request from the Diaz camp and Dana White’s denial that negotiations even took place, the much- discussed matchup never really moved forward.
Woodley still sees the would-be fight as a missed opportunity. During a media scrum at UFC 218 over the weekend, the 170-pound champion shared his own thoughts on why the fight was not finalized.
“I think Nate didn’t really want the fight,” Woodley said. “It’s like saying ‘Would I fight Alistair Overeem?’ And I say ‘Yeah, I’ll fight him for $30 million.”
“I think threw out such a ridiculous number that he knew he wasn’t gonna get compensated for, so he didn’t have to say no to the fight.”
The last couple of fights that the younger Diaz has been booked in took place on two of the highest-earning cards in UFC history. Woodley says he understands the money demands, but remains convinced that Nate just did not want a part of him, more than anything.
“Do I blame him for wanting to get paid more? You can’t come off from fighting two fights with Conor McGregor and making a certain type of money, and then go back to fighting a tougher matchup, a bigger guy, a true welterweight, and make a fraction of it,” Woodley said.
“You can’t have a mantra ‘Don’t be scared, homie’ and a fight’s presented to you, then you’re a scared homie.”