Woodley Wants Diaz in July
Tyron Woodley is preparing for a return to the Octagon and defend his UFC welterweight title, but isn’t interested in fighting before the summer and only has only one name on his list
In an interview with ESPN, Woodley explained that he’s looking towards his next fight as he continues to progress from shoulder surgery. He told Bret Okamoto that Nate Diaz is the fight that will more than likely be next.
“I think that fight will happen,” said Woodley, who also told ESPN that he regained range of motion in his shoulder.
“I think it will happen this year. I think it’s way more likely than people realize. There are conversations about Nate and I fighting in July. The UFC has offered Nate that fight. They just have to make it worth his while.
Woodley explained in December to MMA Fighting that he was re-considering shoulder surgery, but following the procedure seems to be prepared for a Spring return, as fighters come out of the wood work to call out Diaz.
Diaz lit those flames by claiming on social media that he’s looking to fight for the first time since August of 2016. Since then fighters from Tyron Woodley, to Kevin Lee, to Eddie Alvarez have called him out.
And while Woodley wants a shot at Diaz, he balked at the report from the Los Angeles Times that Diaz would be fine with jumping in the main event of UFC 222 on March 3rd.
“In four weeks? No. I wouldn’t fight him,” Woodley said.
“If we’re fighting, I’m pretty sure it would have to be for my belt… at this point in my career, if it’s a fight that’s not for my belt, I’m willing to step out of the box and do some different things.”
Woodley is open to a fight with top contender Rafael dos Anjos, but told ESPN is looking for a bigger fight to cement his legacy.
“I just want to do something that’s going to push me forward career-wise or push my legacy,” Woodley said. “I need both. I need super fights and I need to continue to knock off these rising contenders. I’ve been fighting the best of the best since Strikeforce. It’s not like I’m asking for anything that I haven’t paid my dues for. I had to earn this position the hard way.”
Original Story: ESPN