Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has now given up on chasing a fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 219 and is now set to undergo shoulder surgery instead.
The UFC had been trying to put a title fight together between the two recently to spice up their end-of-year event in Las Vegas, but Diaz allegedly demanding a $15 million payday proved to be a hurdle that could not be overcome.
“Nate Diaz is obviously scared, homie,” Woodley told TMZ. “Someone says ‘hey I want to get paid $15 million’ to fight a fighter and they’ve never received that, not even to fight Conor McGregor, that’s a nice way of saying ‘no, I don’t want to fight him’. That’s like me saying, yeah, I’ll fight f–king Stipe Miocic — just pay me $35 million. That’s basically saying no.
“Unfortunately it would have been a crazy card Dec. 30 in Las Vegas I believe and it would have been a crazy end of the year. Unfortunately, it’s not taking place. I won’t be fighting Nate Diaz. That’s how the cookie crumbles.”
As such, Woodley is now going to spend time ensuring that he’s 100% healthy the next time he does defend his belt.
“I am gonna go ahead and undergo the surgery on my shoulder. I decided a couple days ago. It’s gonna be a bummer but at the end of the day if nobody want to step up and fight somebody that’s not even 100-percent in their one shoulder, then I might as well get my shoulder to where it should be so I can continue [to defend] my belt with a little less risk.”
With Woodley now ruled out of UFC 219, White has acknowleged that the promotion is likely to proceed with a headline fight featuring a previously confirmed women’s featherweight title encounter between Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and Holly Holm.