Nate Diaz and UFC brass might just officially be in a war of words.
Last night, UFC President Dana White took to Twitter to talk about the New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts game, and when the subject of a Nate Diaz vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov matchup was sent out by a fan, he flatly said that Diaz was offered and refused the fight. (You can read more about that here.) While Diaz may have put out a subtle reply to the accusation shortly after (He tweeted out a song entitled "F U Pay Me" by Tech N9ne), he opted to drop the subtlety shortly after. Via Twitter:
Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 12, 2014
Shots fired, ladies and gentlemen! Nurmagomedov, for his part, jumped into the action and replied to Diaz:
khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 12, 2014
Fans will remember that a fight between Nurmagomedov and one of Diaz's friends and training partners, Gilbert Melendez, fell through for UFC 170 due to unknown circumstances. The UFC has been looking to keep the surging Russian lightweight on the card but, apparently, have been unable to find a replacement for Melendez. Diaz, most likely, was asked to fill in but was unwilling to do so.
An odd turn, but by no means unprecedented.
The UFC has used the "established veterans are scared of this up-and-comer" angle in the past to build up potential contenders, most recently Glover Teixeira (who Mauricio "Shogun" Rua turned down). What's more, they have also floated around the idea that Wanderlei Silva was going to retire when the Pride legend started playing hardball during negotiations.
Regardless, Nurmagomedov's fast rise and undeniable skills make for a dangerous fight for established veterans who remain close to title contention. Both Diaz and Melendez fit that bill and, as such, cannot really be blamed for holding out for better-established fighters such as Rafael dos Anjos, Jim Miller or Donald Cerrone.
Whether or not Nurmagomedov will stay on the UFC 170 card is unknown at this time. Check back with Bleacher Report to see if that changes!
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