While Nick Diaz has always been a draw for the UFC, his underappreciated brother Nate Diaz rose to prominence after defeating UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor last year at UFC 196. The two fighters were awarded a Fight of the Night bonus. The fight was followed up with a five-round war at UFC 202, with Conor winning a closely contested fight with a majority decision awarded by the judges.
With UFC 209 on the way headlined by Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson, Joe Rogan feels the UFC missed an opportunity to have the card headlined by the two Stockton, California, fighters who have proudly shouted their 209 area code throughout their careers.
Joe Rogan stated on his podcast that the UFC should have planned the 209 theme around the Diaz brothers. Rogan then stated that he feels that such an event could garner 2 million PPV buys. While this may be an exaggeration, there is no doubt that such an event will be a big PPV for the UFC.
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Joe Rogan suggested a Nick Diaz vs. George St Pierre 2 would make a good main event as they have not fought for a while and they are both big draws. The first fight between the two welterweights is estimated to have sold about 1 million PPV buys.
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz III: Bragging Rights pic.twitter.com/IjBKWEy9K9
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UFC President Dana White has stated he has offered Nate Diaz a fight and that Nick Diaz has turned down two fights in a recent interview.
“We just offered Nate Diaz a fight, and we’re waiting to hear back from him, so we’ll see,” White told USA Today Sports. “These guys say they want a fight – I offered Nick Diaz two fights. He turned down two fights. I offered him Robbie Lawler. Robbie Lawler accepted the fight. Then I offered him Demian Maia. Nick Diaz turned down two fights. And then we just offered Nate a fight.”
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MMA fans suspect that the Diaz brother turned down the fights due to salary negotiations. Nate Diaz reportedly demanded $20 million, according to Ariel Helwani. Both Diaz brothers have received multimillion dollar paydays in their career and are not itching for a fight that doesn’t entice them.
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Nate Diaz has suggested that he is waiting for the trilogy fight with Conor McGregor, and the Irish Lightweight champion has insisted it will happen eventually. However, the rubber match will take place in Nate Diaz’s natural weight class at lightweight.
Both Conor McGregor and Dana White have insisted Nate Diaz was around 200 pounds in the second fight. However, this claim has been mocked by the MMA analyst, as many predict that the Stockton native was not up to 180 pounds due to his body composition during the fight.
UFC 209 will take place March 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and five-time kickboxing world champion Stephen Thompson has both insisted they won the first fight that ended in a majority draw.
Wonderboy told BJPenn.com that he has packed on some muscle for the rematch.
“Last time I was walking around at about 182 (pounds). I’m up to 190 (pounds) and I’m trying to stay about right there. I am not trying to get over that. It is still a dramatic cut. But, I have done it before. I have done it in the past. So I know I can do it. I am feeling stronger and I am feeling faster than ever man.”
Woodley dominated Thompson in the wrestling department and managed to almost finish the kickboxer in the first round. Thompson, however, had some success striking on the feet and hurt the current champion a couple of times.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is riding a 24-fight win streak, will take on Tony Ferguson in the co-main event. Ferguson’s last loss was to Michael Johnson, who Khabib defeated in his last fight. Tony Ferguson is coming off a win against former champion Rafael Dos Anjos and retired him from the weight division.
Styles makes fights. Who do you have at UFC 209? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]