The life of an MMA fan can be tough sometimes, what with all the lengthy USADA drug suspensions of top stars and the seemingly endless stream of main events called off due to injury. The latest example of that is the UFC 222 fight between featherweight champ Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar, nixed over a leg injury Holloway suffered in training.
But the UFC has been known to turn lemons into lemonade with some impressive last minute replacements. Remember when Anderson Silva went up to light heavyweight to challenge Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 on two days notice? That was pretty cool. Then there was the time Nate Diaz stepped in on a week’s notice to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 196, kicking off an epic rivalry that resulted in the biggest PPV buys in UFC history. Fun stuff.
Nate Diaz may not be able to recreate those numbers without McGregor, but his addition to UFC 222 against a worthy opponent would make the combat sports world take notice. And according to the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire, Nate is ready to do it.
”The best option to fill in for the Max Holloway void at UFC 222 is Nate Diaz and he tells me he’s 100% interested,” Pugmire wrote. “Make it happen, UFC!”
Of course, we doubt Nate is ready to step in and help the UFC in whatever way he can. Doing so will require the right money and the right opponent, and who knows if the UFC can offer up anything Diaz would actually accept. Diaz has previously thrown around a $20 million price tag to step back into the Octagon, a number we doubt he could reach even for a Conor McGregor trilogy fight. We’re sure Nate would be very interested in fighting at UFC 222 for $20 million dollars. The UFC? Not so much.
Still, the offer is there. Diaz sounds ready, and a big fight with the Stockton native would go a long way with fans that don’t have much to look forward to over the next few months. Let us pray to the MMA Gods that something can be worked out.