The recently-announced matchup between former The Ultimate Fighter season 5 contestants Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz might not be as much of a sure thing as most thought, according to Diaz:
Nah Fuck that I'm fightin Pettis— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) September 8, 2013
Anthony Pettis recently became lightweight champion by forcing Benson Henderson to tap from an armbar in the first round of their UFC 164 fight. It was a shocking end that, unsurprisingly, put a target on the back of "Showtime."
Still, both Diaz and Maynard find themselves far away from a title fight.
Diaz most recently fought veteran Strikeforce import (and de facto rival of Gilbert Melendez, one of his training partners) Josh Thomson in April. Thomson took control of the fight early and did substantial damage to Diaz before he succumbed to a headkick in round 2.
Maynard suffered a similar knockout to a surging TJ Grant. After spending almost a year out of the cage, Maynard was heavily favored against Grant. The Canadian, however, shocked many by knocking out Maynard in just two minutes, showing off surprisingly powerful punches in spite of his grappling background.
The lightweight division is absolutely overflowing with talent right now, especially in the title picture. Grant is currently lined up for a title fight with Pettis, while Thomson is not far behind. Also in the thick of the title hunt are Pat Healy, Rafael dos Anjos and Khabib Nurmagomedov. That makes any push for a title shot by Diaz highly unrealistic at this time.
It will, however, be very interesting to see if this is just chest-thumping by Diaz or if he actually is resisting this fight.