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

With MMA Newly Legal in New York, Madison Square Garden Books Another Big Event

  • 29 days ago
  • 45 views

If you thought the UFC would wrap a chokehold around big-ticket MMA events at Madison Square Garden, think again. World Series of Fighting officials announced Saturday night that WSOF 36 would take p read news >>

With MMA Newly Legal in New York, Madison Square Garden Books Another Big Event

  • 29 days ago
  • 11 views

If you thought the UFC would wrap a chokehold around big-ticket MMA events at Madison Square Garden, think again. World Series of Fighting officials announced Saturday night that WSOF 36 would take p read news >>

Nick Diaz’s Suspension is Over; Will He Return to the UFC?

  • 28 days ago
  • 93 views

Nick Diaz's 18-month suspension has ended, making him eligible for a return to fighting for the first time since his UFC 183 headlining bout with Anderson Silva. read news >>

Nick Diaz Freed! Who Could, and Who Should, He Face in His Return?

  • 28 days ago
  • 30 views

Ten months ago, one of the most egregious injustices in combat sports history occurred. Nick Diaz, accomplished mixed martial artist, former champion and current UFC contender, was suspended (warning read news >>

Nick Diaz is Willing to Fight Tyron Woodley at UFC 202… For a Price

  • 28 days ago
  • 406 views

If new UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley wants a fight with Nick Diaz, he's ready to dance, but Diaz doesn't come cheap. read news >>

Tyron Woodley: Nick Diaz Makes No Sense; Closer to a Fight with Georges St-Pierre

  • 27 days ago
  • 198 views

Tyron Woodley doesn't care about the top contender. He wants big money fights, and believes he's close to one with Georges St-Pierre. read news >>

On the Nuanced Brilliance of Nick Diaz and His UFC Return

  • 26 days ago
  • 60 views

Nick Diaz is back, and he’s bringing the savviest mind in the fight game with him. With all the excitement surrounding his return, one probably wouldn’t expect to read that sentence before he even ha read news >>

Tyron Woodley Would Choose Georges St-Pierre Over Nick Diaz for First UFC Title Defense

  • 25 days ago
  • 22 views

Newly minted UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley says that he would opt for Georges St-Pierre over Nick Diaz for first title defense. Says it could happen. read news >>

Devin Powell Intends to Impress Dana White, Who is Looking for a Fight

  • 24 days ago
  • 45 views

Devin Powell won't say Friday night's NEF fight is now or never, but knows he needs to impress UFC president Dana White, who will be in the audience. read news >>

There are 75,000 Reasons Nick Diaz Can’t Fight in Nevada Yet

  • 24 days ago
  • 85 views

UFC champ Tyron Woodley has interest in a big money fight with Nick Diaz or Georges St-Pierre. Diaz, however, has some hurdles to clear in Nevada first. read news >>