Dana White: Nate Diaz Won't Fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, Neither Will Anyone Else

USA Today
Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2014

When a matchup between Gilbert Melendez and Khabib Nurmagomedov fell through under yet-to-be-explained circumstances, rumors started to swirl that "El Nino" wanted no part of a fight with the fearsome Russian. While we don't know for sure what happened to nix that fight, apparently Melendez isn't the only Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu fighter that won't throw down with Nurmagomedov.

According to Dana White, former lightweight contender Nate Diaz turned down a fight with Nurmagomedov

@EDLEZGIN @TeamKhabib Nate turned the fight down

— Dana White (@danawhite) January 11, 2014

Talk about throwing your guys under the bus! The UFC President didn't stop there, though:

@EDLEZGIN @TeamKhabib @NateDiaz209 nobody wants to fight Khabib

— Dana White (@danawhite) January 11, 2014

Very, very interesting...

Nurmagomedov has blazed through competition in a way we haven't seen for a long time in the super-competitive lightweight division. He owns a perfect 21-0 record and hasn't even officially lost a round in the UFC yet. His most recent fight was a shockingly lopsided mauling of crafty veteran Pat Healy

He is a very dangerous fight for any given opponent, and that makes him a less-than-favorable option for longtime contenders who remain in the title hunt, like Melendez and Diaz.

The situation is quite similar to when Glover Teixeira first burst onto the light heavyweight scene. White drummed up Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, who turned down a fight with the Brazilian knockout artist in a way that built him up as a fearsome contender—in reality, Rua was on the fringe of title contention, while Teixeira was an unknown commodity with just one UFC fight under his belt.

The aforementioned bout between Melendez and Nurmagomedov was supposed to go down at UFC 170. Last we heard, the UFC was looking to keep him on the card.


Update No. 1

Apparently there is one guy who wants to throw down with Nurmagomedov

@TeamKhabib @UFCSportsBlog @danawhite @EDLEZGIN @NateDiaz209 Dana I Do I asked got that fight and Nate I think nobody wants to fight me!

— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) January 12, 2014


Update No. 2

Diaz put up an interesting tweet:

F U Pay Me http://t.co/P2NHXRYFG9 via @youtube

— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 12, 2014

Well, it wasn't a direct reply—but it would be one heck of a coincidence, wouldn't it?

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