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

Dana White Confirms UFC 208 Headliner, Again Shoots Down McGregor vs. Mayweather (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 646 views

UFC president Dana White joined Good Day New York on Thursday, confirming the headliner for UFC 208 in Brooklyn. read news >>

FOX to re-air UFC 206 on Christmas Eve

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC 206 turned into an instant classic featuring two Knockout and a Fight of the Year candidates. Fans get the chance to relive the action from Toronto when a special two-hour version of UFC 206 is r read news >>

Is Conor McGregor the UFC's Top Pound-for-Pound Fighter? | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 21 views

Dana White recently said that Conor McGregor is the top pound-for-pound fighter. Do you agree? read news >>

Dana White not expecting another comeback by ex-UFC champ Brock Lesnar

  • 24 days ago
  • 13 views

Never say never, but it appears Brock Lesnar’s career as a UFC fighter could be over once and for all.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Brock Lesnar Back to the UFC? Dana White Doesn't Think So | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 32 views

UFC president Dana White won't ever slam the door, but said that he doesn't think Brock Lesnar will return to MMA following his suspension. read news >>

'Cyborg' refusal to take 145-pound UFC fights 'not so strange now,' says Dana White

  • 28 days ago
  • 164 views

The UFC’s decision to leave Invicta FC champ Cristiane Justino out of the promotion’s first title fight at the newly-created women’s 145-pound division raised some eyebrows. UFC boss Dana White think read news >>

Dana White: Conor McGregor could face Khabib Nurmagomedov in first lightweight title defense

  • 28 days ago
  • 59 views

With UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor set to take some time away from the octagon to begin 2017, there hasn’t been much talk of who he could fight next following his title-winning knockout of read news >>

Dana White Comments on Brock Lesnar's Future with UFC

  • 24 days ago
  • 49 views

The UFC suspended Brock Lesnar for one year and fined him $250,000 after it was revealed he failed two drug tests prior to his win over Mark Hunt at UFC 200. It appears his time in the Octagon may be read news >>

Dana White Confirms UFC 207 is Mike Goldberg's Final Broadcast | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago
  • 20 views

UFC president Dana White on Wednesday confirmed that Friday's UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey would be longtime commentator Mike Goldberg's final broadcast. read news >>

Dana White confirms UFC 207 is Mike Goldberg’s last event as commentator

  • 22 days ago
  • 22 views

LAS VEGAS – Friday’s UFC 207 marks the end of an era as longtime commentator Mike Goldberg will call his last event for the promotion.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>