Tyron Woodley vs. Nate Diaz Makes No Sense & Isn't Even Close

UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley might fight Nate Diaz Dec. 30 at UFC 219, and that's downright insane. 

The bout gained steam when two crucial ingredients entered the kitchen. 

First, Nate Diaz's strength and conditioning coach posted on Instagram that Diaz had returned to training. 


Then, Woodley told our own Damon Martin he might have a little somethin' somethin' for us coming soon. 

"There's a lot of guys in my weight class that are talking — they're chirping," Woodley said. "Everybody wants the title. Everybody wants to fight me. Everybody thinks they can beat me. People are talking because they think I can't fight. They think I'm injured to the point where I can't compete and I'm not going back and forth with them so that gives them more wings to keep flying. 

"At the end of the day, none of the people in my division right now are the fight that are going to get me to legendary status," he added. "Get me to the point where I'm a household name. I'm looking for that and I might have found that fight."

Even MMA fans could do the math here. 

One follow-up story from ESPN's Brett Okamoto and a tweet from MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani, and we were hurtling toward Crazytown, area code 2-0-9. 


Woodley vs. Diaz is not just a rumor -- it's a real possibility. In 2017. Probably for the welterweight title. 

But here's the thing: It's not a close fight. Nor does it make any sense. 

Competitively, there's little to discuss. Woodley is perhaps the hardest-hitting welterweight of all time. He's a standout collegiate wrestler with some of the best takedowns and takedown defense in MMA. 

He's been stopped just once in his 22-fight professional career, suffering a knockout defeat against Nate Marquardt at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy in July 2012. The combo Woodley ate in that fight would've slept an insomniac on meth. 

He's 5-0 with one majority draw in his past six contests, winning the UFC welterweight title and maintaining it for three fights during that stretch. 

Diaz, meanwhile, is 3-4 in his last seven. 

A natural lightweight, Diaz fought his last two fights at welterweight against Conor McGregor -- another natural 155'er -- splitting the pair 1-1. 

His career is defined. Diaz is game and nasty, a mean-mugging scrap artist who doesn't need the lights, a crowd, or your attention to throw hands. He'll just toss 'em -- because that's what Diaz has always done and will always do. 

Unfortunately, his weakness is evident. Bigger, more powerful grapplers have toyed with Diaz in the past, particularly at welterweight, where Diaz is just 3-3 in his career. 

The three victories came against Rory Markham, Marcus Davis, and Conor McGregor. The three losses came against Rory MacDonald, Dong Hyun Kim, and McGregor. 


Other notable losses throughout Diaz's career? Benson Henderson. Clay Guida. Gray Maynard. Rafael dos Anjos. 

Notice a trend? 

Woodley is not just a problem for Diaz -- he's one of the worst possible matchups in the welterweight division for Stockton's finest. 

Yet here we are. Dec. 30 sits a little over a month away, and talks are underway. Fans are pumped. Media members are clicking their keys. You are reading an op-ed about the bout. 

There are at least five fighters in the welterweight division more deserving of a shot at Woodley than Diaz, and some of them aren't really deserving at all. Diaz is coming off a loss to a lightweight -- over a year ago. 

How that equates to a fight with the welterweight king goes beyond the bizarre and the illogical. 

It's so bad it's good. 

Where else but MMA can you make that executive decision? In the NFL, in the NBA, or in the NHL, the best battle the best and the last teams standing square off in a final showdown. 

In MMA? Friends, in MMA, the title shots are made up and the points don't matter. 

You want to watch Woodley vs. Diaz more than Woodley vs. Covington or Woodley vs. Thompson III or Woodley vs. anybody not named McGregor or St-Pierre. 

You want it because it's fun and because the UFC Octagon is the only place on earth that can house such a circus. 

So yeah... Tyron Woodley vs. Nate Diaz makes no sense. It's probably going to be a blowout. 

And I love it. 

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