About a week ago, UFC lightweight Nate Diaz sent out a tweet to the promotion explaining that he wouldn’t be able to show up for his Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale bout with Gray Maynard because he was choosing to attend his high school reunion instead. Fans and media speculated that Diaz was unhappy about fighting Maynard again, but his manager Mike Kogan offered up a different explanation for the tweet (which has been deleted). MMA Junkie has his reasoning:
“It has nothing to do with the reunion or not reunion,” Kogan said. “He would like to see if he could fight on the Sacramento card. It’s only two weeks later. It’s closer to his house; it’s like fighting in your backyard with more fans. That’s really what it’s about.”
That event would be UFC on Fox 9 on December 14th, where Anthony Pettis is defending his newly-won lightweight title against Josh Thomson in the main event. Thomson’s win over Diaz (along with T.J. Grant’s lingering injuries) are the reasons that Thomson is getting the title shot. Kogan also stated that Diaz is not turning down the fight with Maynard and has already started training for the November 30th bout in Las Vegas.
Diaz and Maynard have fought twice before, with each man taking a victory. Nate’s win isn’t on the official record though – it came on The Ultimate Fighter 5 show, and was deemed an exhibition bout due to the modified rules for the show’s bouts. Maynard defeated Diaz by split decision back in 2010.
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