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Midnight Mania! Dana White says Nate Diaz not the answer for UFC 222

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UFC Fight Night: Barzola v Avila Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

UFC 222 remains in need of saving, and despite Nate Diaz’s stated willingness to step in and save it, UFC president Dana White doesn’t think he’s the man for the job. From the LA Times:

In another text message exchange with The Times, White sent back the rolled eyes emoji when asked if a Diaz return would be considered to compensate for Holloway’s loss from the event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Then, White repeated a statement he gave The Times last week: “He [Diaz] doesn’t want to fight.

”We have made around five or six fights in the last six months and he has turned them all down. Alvarez, [Justin] Gaethje, [Edson] Barboza and [interim lightweight champion Tony] Ferguson multiple times.”

Diaz also told the LA Times he that while he was willing to step in to save the Pay-Per-View (PPV), he isn’t willing to fight Eddie Alvarez. Alvarez had previously called Diaz out, then cursed him out when it was clear Diaz wasn’t interested in that bout. Diaz has also recently told the LA Times that he doesn’t consider himself a lightweight.

It’s not difficult to connect the dots here. Contrary to Dana White’s blunt statement, Diaz is more than willing to fight for the right money, but completing his trilogy with McGregor remains the biggest payday he will ever have. He isn’t about to jeopardize that by taking a fight at lightweight against a difficult stylistic matchup. Historically, both Diaz brothers have struggled against powerful top-position grapplers such as Rory Macdonald, Ben Henderson, and Rafael dos Anjos.

Fighting a division up, as a welterweight, allows him to compete without risking his standing for a McGregor trilogy. Unlike a loss to Eddie Alvarez, a loss to welterweight champion Tyron Woodley wouldn’t jeopardize his standing in the lightweight division, in which he is ranked eighth. As the only 155-lb. fighter with a recent win over current champion Conor McGregor, Diaz still has a plausible case to be booked straight into a trilogy finisher.

It will be difficult, however, for the UFC to find a short-notice opponent for Diaz at 170. Tyron Woodley is nursing an injury. Robbie Lawler tore his ACL in a loss to Rafael Dos Anjos. Stephen Thompson is still rehabbing his hands after breaking both thumbs in the Jorge Masvidal fight. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is booked, although bumping him up to a rematch with Diaz on Pay-Per-View might be a fun option. Cerrone has improved since his emotional loss to a surging Nate Diaz way back in 2011, and over five rounds his leg kicks might have more time to work. Diaz would no doubt take a fight to someone he has already beaten.


Cody Garbrandt said he is willing to step up to featherweight to fight Frankie Edgar, and if you are asking, hell yeah, I would love that fight.

Fighters have come out to support the lack of a fight stoppage after Shevchenko landed 217 unanswered shots on Priscila Cachoeira, who had already torn her ACL. A fighter’s mentality is, let me keep fighting until I can’t. That’s not to say we should listen to the fighters, who are often too tough for their own good; but perhaps the real lesson here is that mismatches like this one shouldn’t be made in the first place. Although, Valentina Shevchenko would dispute that. In fact, no one is taking any responsibility here, including Mario Yamasaki, who said he gave Cachoeira the chance to be a warrior. Okay.

Dustin Poirier’s point is well made: the win bonus system means no corner is going to throw in the towel, and no fighter, however undermatched is going to give up unless forced to, with half their paycheck on the line.

Nate Quarry offered an alternative that would also incentivize more exciting fights:

Pretty cool tutorial

Maybe this is a practice the fighters should get rid of. Just saying.

He doesn’t say what he chops this stuff with though. Loopholes.

A post shared by COMBAT SPORTS / MARTIAL ARTS (@thestranglesquad) on

I love comic fighter art.

Weekend drama:

When there is no referee to save you.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

My favorite part of Max Holloway’s rebuttals to McGregor is that he doesn’t bother to tag the man. Because, you know, he’s also the champ now.

Photoshop had a savage reply too

A post shared by As Shopped As It Gets (@as_shopped_as_it_gets_) on

I didn’t count them but sure seemed like 98

It’s good to see Robert Whittaker well.

Emmanel Augustus was an inspiration.

Rory MacDonald realized his mistake

When the UFC does a good job promoting their stars:

It’s been in the news now, but I loved TJ Dillashaw’s reply when asked about rematching Garbrandt on a month’s notice.

No one seems to care about Jimmie Rivera.

Slips, Rips, KO Clips

In case you missed these over the weekend:

Anderson Silva working a closed guard sweep back in the day

One of my old training partners, Jeremy Post defended his amateur title with this nice armbar.

Fight video 1st rnd armbar #andstill#hardworkpaysoff @5th_round_fitness_mma

A post shared by Jeremy Post (@jeremypost58) on

Quick Hits

Podcasts and Video

UFC: Belem took it’s toll, but AJ and I managed to discuss it anyway. Check us out on SoundCloud as well as iTunes and Stitcher on the official MMA Mania channel! And follow MMA Mania on Youtube

UFC: Belem Highlights

The MMA Hour

Monday Morning Analyst

The Co-Main Event Podcast

Random Space

This incredible, heart-breaking story of Jackie Wallace, a homeless man who played in two Super Bowls, rehabbed, then became homeless again is a must-read.

You all complained about the lack of Random Land... it’s a feast or famine section.

This was a long chase. I got tired just watching it.

A series of unfortunate events

Learn something new every day:

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