There is no interest in a fight between Kamaru Usman and Nick Diaz, says UFC president Dana White.
Diaz recently revealed he was aiming for a return to the Octagon by the end of the year and wanted a championship opportunity against Usman. The Stockton native has not fought since losing to Robbie Lawler via third-round technical knockout at UFC 266 this past September.
“I’d rather fight for the title,” Diaz told TMZ Sports. “If I’m going to fight, I want to fight for the title. That’s the thing and they want to say if I want to fight a bunch of guys and stuff like that. And I’m like, ‘Well, you know what? It’s a bigger fight if you just skip all the mess. I don’t need to go in there and get my ass whooped by one of them young guys anyway. And it’s not that I won’t win, it’s just not motivating to fight somebody that’s, you know…I want to fight for the title. I’m 38 years old.”
White thought Diaz fought well against Lawler, but said he should not fight again. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, White shut down Usman vs. Diaz out of concern for the longtime veteran.
“Especially for as long as he was off and you know,” said White. “Listen, there’s no denying the Diaz brothers are tough kids. But talk to me about Nick Diaz vs. Usman, Usman is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.”
“I need to look out for Nick and make sure that Nick doesn’t get hurt,” continued White.
Usman is indeed the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the promotion. The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ has successfully defended the welterweight championship five times since dethroning then-champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 over three years ago. Once recovered from surgery to his right hand, Usman will rematch Leon Edwards for his next defense.
Despite Usman being completely out of the question, Diaz still wants to fight. When asked by Iole if he would consider anyone else in the division for him, White was noncommittal.
“I don’t know, Kev. I put on fights with the best fighters in the world, and how old is Nick? You’re asking me silly questions,” said White. “I don’t want to see Nick Diaz get hurt.”