With top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Khabib Nurmagomedov no longer a possibility (because of this), Nate Diaz will have to settle for punching Michael Johnson in the face instead.
Diaz and Johnson will collide at UFC on FOX 17, which is scheduled for Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 19, 2015, according to a FOX Sports 1 report.
It's been quite the odyssey for Diaz, who has captured more headlines outside the Octagon than inside it, most recently getting into a wild brawl (watch it) with the aforementioned Nurmagomedov at a World Series of Fighting (WSOF) event earlier this month that ultimately led to a future "ban."
Diaz -- a former No. 1-ranked Lightweight title challenger -- is just 1-3 since choking out Jim Miller in late 2012. He most recently dropped a lopsided unanimous decision in a catchweight bout (here's why) to Rafael dos Anjos -- who has since become the 155-pound champion -- at UFC on FOX 13 in Dec. 2014.
Johnson, meanwhile, was on the wrong end of a controversial decision loss to Beneil Dariush in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 73, snapping a four-fight win streak. The good news for "The Menace" is that the setback did not affect his standings in the division rankings, where he currently sits at No. 5.
UFC on FOX 17 features a main event between dos Anjos, who will look to defend his world title for the first time ever against shirtless, beer-swilling Donald Cerrone. Two Middleweight matches -- Nate Marquardt vs. C.B. Dollaway and Josh Samman vs. Tamdan McCrory -- are also headed to "Sunshine State" this upcoming winter.