Despite UFC 230 not having an official main event, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is refusing to entertain a 165-pound title fight between co-headliners Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier.
Both lightweight fighters have lobbied on social media over the past few weeks to turn their three-round scrap into a five-round championship bout in effort to take the main event spot on Nov. 3 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Scheduling such a fight would force the promotion to create an entirely new division just to save a single PPV card. While UFC has pulled off some trickiness in the past to bolster an event, White is not open to it this time around.
“I definitely saw that,” said White in a recent interview with TMZ Sports (shown above). “It’s nutty as hell. The guy signed a deal to fight at 155 pounds against Poirier – from the minute the deal was signed and he went out on stage, he’s just been, you know – it’s completely weird. That’s what it is.”
Adding gasoline to the fire was a recent tweet by Diaz suggesting the bout was off because Poirier didn’t want to fight at 165 pounds (shown below). This comes after Diaz hinted at not fighting at UFC 230 following a press conference back in August.
Hold that noise. I’m 100% down https://t.co/tucv55JMqi
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 28, 2018
“He has to, yeah,” White said when asked if Diaz will still show up. “The guy signed a deal, tickets went on sale, all this stuff is in motion – you can’t just sign a deal and then do the things he’s doing right now, and not fight. If you look at what he’s doing, I swear to God I had some police officers come in here this afternoon and say ‘Ah man, it sucks, the Diaz fight is off.’ Most people think that the fight isn’t even on because of what he’s doing on social media.”
Even though UFC 230 has no main event in place with just over one month to go, White is not looking at Diaz vs. Poirier to fill that void. In fact, the UFC president suggests it was never even an option.
“Not only will there not, we did not ever discuss that with him, was never an option, or anything,” said White.
For now, Diaz vs. Poirier is locked in as UFC 230’s co-main event. If Diaz actually shows up for his first Octagon appearance since a decision loss to Conor McGregor two years ago, his clash with “Diamond” could be one of the best of the year.