Nick Diaz vs. Kamaru Usman, unlikely as it is to happen, would be huge & More Trending News


Nick Diaz advised TMZ that he needs to battle Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title someday earlier than the tip of the yr. The preliminary response was that it was loopy and will by no means occur and was only a case of Nick being Nick.

The UFC doesn’t have an ideal document, however it’s the most effective there is in fight sports activities at defending the integrity of its championships. Look on the overwhelming majority of title fights the UFC has placed on within the Dana White Era previously 21 years and there is a consistency and a logic to how the promotion has made its title matches.

Fighters should win in opposition to an more and more larger and extra expert degree of opposition to get a title battle. You don’t simply get to leap the road.


White received’t even enable Henry Cejudo, one of many best fighters in blended martial arts historical past and a UFC champion at flyweight and bantamweight, to finish his retirement and battle for the featherweight title in his return.

It would give Cejudo the chance to change into the primary three-division champion in UFC historical past and would be a large story. That would additionally lead to huge pay-per-view gross sales.

But White has mentioned that if Cejudo needs to come again, it received’t be in a featherweight title battle. He mentioned if Cejudo wins a bantamweight belt once more, he may then go up to featherweight and take a look at for the title there.

In denying Cejudo a right away featherweight title shot, White is following the established procedures which were in place for the reason that Zuffa buy of the UFC in 2001.

This, although, is a process the corporate has most frequently adopted. It’s not a constitutional modification. It’s White’s firm and so they’re his titles. He can do with them as he needs.

That being mentioned, the notion of Nick Diaz preventing Usman for the title makes little sense. Diaz returned from a six-year retirement at UFC 266 on Sept. 25 to battle Robbie Lawler in a middleweight bout. Lawler received the bout by TKO within the third spherical.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 25: Nick Diaz enters the Octagon in his middleweight fight during the UFC 266 event on September 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Nick Diaz needs a title shot earlier than the tip of 2022. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Diaz hasn’t truly fought at welterweight since he misplaced to Georges St-Pierre in a title battle at UFC 158 within the notorious “wolf tickets” present in Montreal. He hasn’t received a welterweight battle since defeating B.J. Penn at UFC 137 on Oct. 29, 2011.

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None of that bothers Diaz, although, who advised TMZ he’s not fascinated with going via the ranks to earn a title shot.

“I’m working [on a return for] the end of the year right now,” Diaz mentioned to TMZ. “ … If I’m going to fight, I want to fight for the title.”

Usman has dominated the welterweight division and has received 19 fights in a row, courting again to 2013. He’s received 15 consecutive UFC fights and has gone 6-0 in welterweight title fights.

There are a number of contenders close to the highest of the division who’re deserving of a title shot, most notably Leon Edwards, who has received 9 in a row since dropping to Usman in 2015.

Khamzat Chimaev has taken the UFC by storm and is ranked third, one spot behind Edwards. Belal Muhammad is ranked fifth after defeating Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson and Vicente Luque in his final three outings.

All of these guys, as effectively as No. 1 Colby Covington, who misplaced two fights to Usman, Gilbert Burns and even Luque, deserve a title battle forward of Diaz.

But — and there’s all the time a however — none of them have Diaz’s cachet. When his return to competitors was introduced final yr, it was one of many greatest UFC tales of the yr. The fan response was excessive.

It was supposed to be a welterweight battle, however Diaz then requested for it to be modified to a middleweight battle on Tuesday of battle week. Lawler, ever the skilled, agreed to in some respects save the present.

The card was topped by title fights between featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega, and a ladies’s flyweight title battle between champion Valentina Shevchenko and Lauren Murphy. The “real” principal occasion, although, was Diaz versus Lawler. That’s the one which sparked so lots of the pay-per-view buys.

“If I’m going to fight, I want to fight for the title,” Diaz mentioned. “ … Just skip all the mess. I don’t need to go in there and get my ass whooped by one of the young guys, anyway — and it’s not that I won’t win. It’s just not motivating to fight somebody that’s — I want to fight for the title. I’m 38 years old.”

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (R-L) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria punches Colby Covington in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is undefeated within the UFC and is at present No. 1 within the Yahoo Sports MMA pound-for-pound rankings. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Usman would beat Diaz, in all probability within the first spherical. He’d possible take him down and end him with ground-and-pound. Usman is 4-0 in opposition to the UFC’s prime 5. Chimaev is gaining the type of cult hero standing that Diaz has loved for years, however Usman would be favored in opposition to him by a powerful quantity.

An Usman-Diaz battle would not come with out danger, and there would be loads of criticism that it denigrated the title’s worth by giving a man a title shot who hadn’t received a battle in 11 years and who hadn’t fought within the division in 9.

But it would be huge. They may promote pay-per-views to the pre-fight information conferences and it would wind up promoting greater than among the PPV battle playing cards they’ve provided.

Usman would win emphatically, however that’s just about what occurs now regardless of who he’s in opposition to.

It would be unconventional. I’m not recommending it, per se, however let’s simply say this: If Dana White have been ever inclined to break his procedures and make an out-of-the-box title battle, I wouldn’t complain if this have been it.

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