The UFC’s new welterweight champion Tyron Woodley called for a fight with Nick Diaz on Saturday night after winning the belt, and it seems that the Stockton native could be willing to take him up on that offer, assuming the price is right.
“If they make me an offer I can’t refuse,” Diaz told TMZ when asked whether he’d accept a fight with Woodley at UFC 202 later this month. “But I doubt that’s going to happen.”
However, even though he’s been out of action for the past 18 months, it doesn’t sound as if Diaz is in a big hurry to return to the Octagon.
“What can I say? For me, this is a curse,” Diaz said of his suspension ending in a seperate interview with ESPN.com. “I haven’t been fanatical about being an MMA fighter since I turned pro [in 2001].
“There are ups and downs with that, being suspended. People don’t understand, I’ve had 37 fights, three to five fights every year, for 17 years. That does something to somebody. These suspensions are the only vacations I’ve ever had. It cost me a lot of money to have a vacation, basically. It’s nice to step back and see there’s more to life. [Before], I didn’t do any hanging out, drinking, meeting people, going to different places — unless it was for a fight.”
With that in mind, money appears to be Diaz’s biggest motivator to return to the Octagon, rather than any particular opponent.
“I’m on top right now,” Diaz said. “I’m on top of this game. There ain’t no ‘giving’ me a shot. I’m giving somebody a shot. If anybody’s getting a shot, somebody’s getting a shot against me, because I’m the guy to beat. These guys aren’t doing any money fighting each other, and until they do some money fighting each other, I’m not interested. I’m looking for the right guy to make the right show, do the right numbers. Then we can talk.”
For the record, TMZ Sport has claimed that despite Woodley calling him out, the UFC is actually more interested in the idea of having Diaz rematch Robbie Lawler, who he knocked out all the way back at UFC 47 in 2004.
That being said, whoever it is the UFC decides to put him up against, it sounds like they are going to have to dig deep into their pockets to lure Diaz back into the Octagon.
“I don’t need none of this s—,” Diaz told ESPN. “I walk around, people know who I am. I’ve got friends. I can make ends meet. I grew up around people who have been hustling from the start, so I think I’ve got a bright little future ahead of me — especially if I don’t fight. Why would I want to go out there and fight with somebody, get my face punched and kicked. It’s not my idea of a good time.”