nick-diaz-35-featured.jpg

SACRAMENTO – With Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler booked for a shot at the UFC’s newly vacated welterweight title, UFC President Dana White on Saturday said he thought he had another high-profile fight booked for UFC 171.

Then Nick Diaz turned it down.

White said he offered Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) a fight against Carlos Condit (29-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) on Saturday night at UFC on FOX 9, but Diaz passed on it. White said the offer came in person with Diaz cageside for the fight card, which took place in Sacramento.

Diaz, though, will remain out of action – by his own choosing. He told White he might return next spring, and that he would return for a title fight.

“He doesn’t want the fight,” White said at the post-event news conference for UFC on FOX 9 at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena. “I thought he wanted the rematch – (UFC ranked) No. 10 (Diaz) vs. No. 1 (contender Condit). But he’s not interested. He said maybe he’d be interested in coming back in May.

“… He said, ‘I’ll fight the winner of Hendricks and Lawler.’ I said, ‘You’re ranked No. 10. It kind of doesn’t work that way.’”

Instead, White told MMAjunkie he’s faced with continuing the search for an appropriate opponent for Condit, who was slated to face Matt Brown on Saturday’s show before Brown was sidelined with an injury earlier this week.

“I’ve got to go back to the drawing board,” White said. “Condit accepted the fight immediately, but I didn’t get it done (with Diaz).”

Hendricks (15-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Lawler (22-9 MMA, 7-3 UFC) were booked to fight for the title at UFC 171 on March 15 in Dallas after champion Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) on Friday vacated the title to take time away from the sport.

Hendricks recently fought St-Pierre for the title at UFC 167 and suffered a narrow split-decision defeat (though every major media outlet scored the fight for Hendricks) on Nov. 16. Prior to the setback, Hendricks had claimed No. 1 contender’s status with a six-fight winning streak. The former NCAA Division I national wrestling champ’s streak included wins over the likes of Condit, Martin Kampmann, Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch.

Lawler is enjoying a career resurgence since a drop down from middleweight. After rejoining the UFC and debuting at 170 pounds, the Strikeforce vet has posted three consecutive wins. The most recent, which came over highly touted (and St-Pierre training partner) Rory MacDonald, followed knockout wins over Koscheck and Bobby Voelker.

Condit recently got back on track after a title unification loss to St-Pierre and subsequent loss to Hendricks when he stopped Kampmann in the fourth round at UFC Fight Night 27 in August. He fought Diaz for the UFC’s interim welterweight title at UFC 143 and took a unanimous decision. Diaz tested positive for marijuana after that fight and was suspended for a year. He returned in March of this year and fought St-Pierre for the title, but lost a unanimous decision and then essentially said he was going to retire. He’s been out of action ever since.

White said he wouldn’t put pressure on Diaz to fight, though.

“It’s not even about negotiating – he’s under contract,” White said. “It’s do you want to fight, or not want to fight. Obviously the Diaz brothers are very unique individuals. You don’t pressure a guy who’s not interested in fighting. In this business, you’ve got to have the fire or you shouldn’t do it.”

For the latest on UFC 171, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Nick Diaz)

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Sale Video: What Happens to Dana White if the UFC is Sold?

  • 19 days ago
  • 566 views

If the UFC actually does get sold, what happens to UFC president Dana White? read news >>

Dana White says UFC 'not for sale' despite ESPN report to the contrary (Yahoo Sports)

  • 19 days ago
  • 30 views

From Yahoo Sports: A report Tuesday said the UFC's owners are in advanced talks to sell the business and it is expected to be valued between $3.5 billion and $4 billion. read news >>

Dana White says UFC 'not for sale' despite ESPN report (Yahoo Sports)

  • 19 days ago
  • 23 views

From Yahoo Sports: A report Tuesday said the UFC's owners are in advanced talks to sell the business and it is expected to be valued between $3.5 billion and $4 billion. read news >>

Dana White Denies ESPN Report: ‘The UFC is Not for Sale’

  • 19 days ago
  • 28 views

The MMA world was jolted on Tuesday when an ESPN report indicated that the UFC was for sale, but UFC president Dana White declares the report untrue. read news >>

Dana White Comments on Relationship with Conor McGregor

  • 18 days ago
  • 85 views

UFC President Dana White stated Wednesday that he's worked to repair his relationship with Conor McGregor after a period of verbal warfare that led to a brief retirement for one of the promotion's bi read news >>

Dana White and Conor McGregor Mending Fences; Floyd Mayweather a Non-Factor

  • 18 days ago
  • 117 views

UFC president Dana White on Wednesday indicated he and Conor McGregor were mending fences, but a fight with Floyd Mayweather was mostly a myth. read news >>

Dana White Continues to Shoot Down UFC Sale, but Hints at a ‘Deal’

  • 18 days ago
  • 45 views

Although Dana White on Wednesday continued to shoot down a report that the UFC was for sale, he didn't rule out a deal involving international expansion. read news >>

Dana White State of the UFC Video: Not for Sale, Anderson Silva Surgery, UFC 198, and More!

  • 18 days ago
  • 33 views

Dana White joined Colin Cowherd to breakdown all the fast moving UFC news, from the possible sale of the UFC, Anderson Silva's surgery, record crowds in Brazil, and more. read news >>

UFC Sale Rumors: Would the UFC Improve Without Dana White and the Fertittas?

  • 17 days ago
  • 45 views

On Tuesday night, ESPN that the UFC is in advanced talks to sell the promotion, hiring investment bank Goldman Sachs to represent it in discussions with at least four groups that have bid on an acqui read news >>

Dana White vs. Joe Rogan? Dana Isn’t Too Into That

  • 17 days ago
  • 543 views

Dana White vs. Joe Rogan? No thanks, says Dana. Jay Glazer, though? All day long. read news >>