If Nate Diaz is going to return to the UFC this year, it’s looking more and more likely that Tyron Woodley will be his next opponent.
The Stockton, Calif., native admitted to ESPN.com on Wednesday that he has grown tired of sitting on the sidelines and that a welterweight title bout with Woodley is the “best option” for his next Octagon appearance. Diaz hasn’t fought since losing a majority decision to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016.
"I'm getting to the point where I'm sick of not fighting. I'm not getting any younger," Diaz told ESPN. "I put that tweet out saying I wanted to fight in May or June, but I didn't say who because I was weighing my options. And now, Woodley is my best option.
"I see him on TMZ every week, talking about me. I'm like, 'What the f---? If that's what you want to do.' It's not really my weight class, but I'm with it. I think it's my title we're fighting for. If he's the one calling me out, whose title are we fighting for? Who's the real champion here?"
On Tuesday, Woodley said that the promotion had already offered Diaz the fight. According to Diaz, a booking at UFC 226 on July 7 would be ideal. That card already features a heavyweight championship bout between Stipe Miocic and reigning 205-pound king Daniel Cormier.
"I'd like a good two or three-month camp," Diaz said. "We'll figure it out. There's definitely going to be something. I'm trying to fight."
Of course, Diaz is still linked to McGregor thanks to their pair of bouts in 2016, both of which were among the best-selling pay-per-views in UFC history. A trilogy bout could prove lucrative, but negotiations with McGregor have been slow after the Irishman earned a career-high payday to box Floyd Mayweather this past August.
For his part, Diaz isn’t too concerned with McGregor’s next move.
"He's just living his life right now and he's got a magnifying glass on him, whatever he's doing," Diaz said. "I don't give a f--- what he does.
"I'm sure he's up and down. 'Do I want to be in these lights? Why am I not in these lights? I need to get in the lights. I need to get out of the lights.' It's a crazy roller coaster."