UFC News Round-Up 6.2.18: Diaz, Edgar & Garbrandt

“He Doesn’t Want to Fight” – Dana White Pours Cold Water on Prospect of Nate Diaz Return

  • Nate Diaz unlikely to return to headline UFC 222 in March
  • Injured headliner Max Holloway hits back at Conor McGregor after social media swipe
  • Frankie Edgar up to “fight anyone,” including former UFC bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz wants rematch with “big fraud” Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  • Demetrious Johnson doesn’t agree with TJ Dillashaw’s pound-for-pound discussion

No sign on the horizon for Nate Diaz

UFC fans were dealt perhaps the biggest blow of 2018 so far when it was confirmed that featherweight champion Max Holloway would miss UFC 222. “Blessed” was due to headline the event in a bout bout against Frankie Edgar but withdrew because of a leg injury.

When rumours of Diaz’s return to potentially headline the bout began to circulate, however, that disappointment quickly turned to cautious optimism.

Diaz reportedly told the Los Angeles Times that he was “100% interested” in filling Holloway’s shoes against Edgar, which would be his first appearance inside the Octagon since August 2016.

While the prospect of the Stockton-native returning to the promotion would be a welcomed boost in revenue and publicity for WME-IMG, the UFC owners, President Dana White quickly rubbished the move by text to the same news outlet:

“He [Diaz] doesn’t want to fight,” White said in a text sent to the Los Angeles Times.

“We have made around five or six fights in the last six months and he has turned them all down. Alvarez, [Justin] Gaethje, [Edson] Barboza and [interim lightweight champion Tony] Ferguson multiple times.”

Holloway not impressed with McGregor’s latest critical remarks

UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor took a dig at his featherweight counterpart and former opponent, Max Holloway, via Instagram on Sunday.

Posting a photo of his 2013 bout with the Hawaiian with the caption “when there is no referee to save you,” McGregor seemingly intended to get a rise out of “Blessed” following the news of his withdrawal from his featherweight title defence at UFC 222 next month.

Source: Twitter / Conor McGregor

Holloway wasn’t just going to take it, however, and dished out a pretty epic response of his own.

Frankie Edgar throws it down on Twitter

Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is currently without an opponent following Holloway’s withdrawal through injury, which sees this fixture cancelled for the second time.

Edgar took to Twitter to put the word out that he was ‘down to fight anyone’ and it did not matter what weight class a potential opponent comes from providing the fight card is saved. Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt answered that call, and ordered Ali Abdelaziz to “get us paid”.

Source: Twitter / Cody Garbrandt

Karolina Kowalkiewicz hits out at fellow-Pole and “big fraud” Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Former dominant champion Jedrzejczyk claimed that her shocking loss to Rose Namajunas on 2017’s UFC 217 was down to issues with weight cutting. Kowalkiewicz accused her compatriot of making excuses:

“For me it’s nonsense and justification of herself. I don’t know, maybe it makes her feel better about it, and she’s able to lift it somehow psychologically. In fact, every fighter cuts the weight, and it’s not pleasant for anyone.

“Sometimes it’s lighter, sometimes heavier, but overall it’s not a nice process. And she puts the guilt on her dietary team. Doesn’t Joanna use her own brain? If Joanna saw that she had too much weight to cut, then…

If Joanna felt that something was wrong and had too much weight to cut, then I don’t understand something. In my opinion, this is just one big fraud.”

Demetrious Johnson Dismissive of TJ Dillashaw’s Claim to Pound-for-Pound Honours

TJ Dilashaw’s claims that a victory over incumbent flyweight champion and pound-for-pound number 1 Demetrious Johnson would make him the number one fighter on the UFC roster were recently discussed by “Mighty” himself.

“[The fight is about] who’s the best pound-for-pound,” Dillashaw had told BJ Penn Radio. “It’s not some bullshit, hyped drama. This is what the sport is really about, it’s who is the best in the world. Demetrious got that number one spot.

“I feel like I’m the best fighter in the world, man, and I just want to prove it. DJ has my spot and I want to claim it. I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter. I had a couple split decision losses that I didn’t agree with it.

“If you throw those ones out of the way, I’d be on a 13 fight win streak, seven fight title defence. I’d be where I’m supposed to be, but this is the way for me to get to where I want to be. Demetrious is on top and it’s time for me to take him out.”

Johnson responded in kind with an assertion of his own:

It’s a little different, especially when you’re talking about a bigger guy going down to fight a smaller guy. I think the reason people put that label on me is I’ve beaten every single type of style and skill set that’s come to me,” Johnson told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “I beat John Dodson twice — TJ lost to Dodson.”

“I’ve been a champion for five years. He hasn’t been a champion for a year yet. If he were to beat me, and everyone would say, ‘Oh, he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world!’ and the next thing you know, he gets knocked out in a bantamweight fight, I would say that ‘reign’ would be cheap. It’s not warranted.”

“The reason I have that label is my longevity as a champion and dominating higher competition. His fight against Cody wasn’t a blowout, they exchanged and his punch landed. It wasn’t like he dominated him in wrestling or jiu-jitsu. That’s my personal opinion.”

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