The injury bug is once again becoming a big problem for the UFC.
The main events for both UFC 221 and 222 have fallen apart in the last couple weeks. The former was supposed to feature Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker fighting in his native Australia against Luke Rockhold. When Whittaker pulled out due to a nasty staph infection, Yoel Romero stepped in to replace him and the UFC announced the fight would be for the interim Middleweight title.
UFC 222 has a similar problem, but no solution yet. The main event was originally a Featherweight title fight between champion Max Holloway and former Lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. Unfortunately, Holloway injured his leg in training and had to pull out of the bout. The UFC is now stuck without a marketable main event, as the only other “big fight” on the card is Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski — hardly worthy of being a PPV main event, with all due respect to those two fighters.
The UFC tried to scramble together a Bantamweight title fight between Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw, but Dillashaw refused the short notice bout on account of being busy at home with his newborn son. Most of the other champions or big names are currently committed to upcoming fights, leaving the UFC stuck.
There is one man available, though.
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) February 4, 2018
That’s Los Angeles Times sports reporter Lance Pugmire claiming that Nate Diaz is interested in saving the UFC 222 card — for the right price, of course.
Diaz hasn’t fought since his rematch with Conor McGregor in 2016, claiming the UFC aren’t offering him enough money to bother. Now that the company is desperate, perhaps Diaz can use his additional bargaining power to get a raise. He once famously demanded $15 million just to step into the cage. There’s no way he’ll get that much from the UFC for a non-title fight against Frankie Edgar, but fans would love to see Diaz back in the cage.
A source close to Diaz claims he doesn’t exactly need the money. Rather, he’s just getting bored sitting around his house doing nothing all day. Hopefully the UFC can make him an acceptable offer in order to save UFC 222 from a dismal buy rate.