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UFC champ Woodley hits back at 'delusional' Dana White over Diaz claim

Recent speculation suggested that Tyron Woodley would defend his title against Nate Diaz at UFC 219.

MMA 2016 - UFC 205 - New York UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. Source: Jason Silva

TYRON WOODLEY AND Dana White are butting heads once again after the UFC president claimed earlier this week that a rumoured bout between Woodley and Nate Diaz was never realistically likely to happen.

Recent speculation suggested that Woodley would defend his welterweight title against Diaz next month in Las Vegas at UFC 219 — a card which will now be headlined by the meeting of Holly Holm and women’s featherweight champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino.

Woodley expressed his eagerness to take on Diaz in his fourth title defence, while Diaz’s boxing coach Richard Perez insisted that his fighter would demand a $15 million purse before committing to his first fight since his August 2016 defeat to Conor McGregor.

According to White, UFC lawyer Hunter Campbell did discuss the possibility of the fight taking place with Diaz, but an official offer was never made.

The UFC president told reporters on Tuesday: “One of our attorneys here started playing matchmaker — he has a good rapport with the Diaz brothers — and he basically said [to Nate Diaz]: ‘What if you could fight Tyron Woodley?’

“Me and Sean [Shelby, UFC matchmaker] were like: ‘How does he deserve to fight Tyron Woodley? There’s a fucking list of guys that are waiting to fight Tyron Woodley, what are you talking about?’

“He kind of went off the reservation a little bit and started playing matchmaker. That’s why you started hearing Woodley saying: ‘I got offered a fight with Nate Diaz’. We’re like: ‘No, there was never a fight’. There was really never an offer for Woodley versus Diaz. That’s not true.”

Boxing: Mayweather vs McGregor-Weigh Ins UFC president Dana White. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

But Woodley, who has had several verbal spats with White in public since becoming champion 18 months ago, reached out to to give his response to the UFC chief’s comments.

“Delusional Dana constantly demotes me as a fighter when the job is to promote his fighters, especially champions,” said Woodley, who’s now expected to undergo surgery on a shoulder injury which will sideline him for approximately four months.

“Why would I get in camp, and why would Nate give a $15 million purse request if there was no fight? It’s obvious they haven’t found their blockbuster headliner yet. This was a reality, and they know it. The inability to come to financial terms with Nate killed it.”

Woodley could discover his next challenger on 16 December when the man he dethroned, Robbie Lawler, takes on Rafael dos Anjos in Winnipeg. The winner of that bout is likely to be in pole position for a title shot.

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Paul Dollery

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