Having suffered back-to-back defeats to Ben Henderson and Josh “Bitch Ass Lady Sounds” Thomson — the latter of which was the first TKO loss in his MMA career — you wouldn’t think that Nate Diaz would be in the position to start picking and choosing who he fights next. That is, after all, a right reserved exclusively for self-matchmaker extraordinaire Chael P. Sonnen. That Diaz was also recently fined and “suspended” for making offensive statements on Twitter* would further the belief that he should perhaps keep his nose to the grindstone for the time being, but as the saying goes, “A Diaz wants what a Diaz wants and that is usually weed or a fight they don’t deserve.”
As such, when Nate found out he was once again being paired against Gray Maynard, he posted the above to his Twitter account. While it’s not that shocking that he would call out Pettis, it is shocking that a Diaz would seemingly turn down a fight against a guy who narrowly defeated him in their last contest. Or anyone, for that matter.
But as of this write up, Maynard and Diaz are still set to do battle at the TUF 18 Finale on November 30th. The fight will serve as a rubber match of sorts between the two, as Maynard was submitted by Diaz in an exhibition bout during the TUF 5 semifinals but went on to score a lackluster split decision over Diaz at UFC Fight Night 20 in 2010. So…advantage Diaz, we guess?
Similar to his TUF 5 counterpart, Maynard is also coming off a tough TKO loss — to T.J. Grant at UFC 160. The first round finish was impressive enough to earn Grant a shot at Ben Henderson and now Anthony Pettis, so expect Maynard to come out with something to prove against Diaz this time around.
In other booking news, the struggling Donald Cerrone (I really don’t like how that sounds) has already set a date for his next comeback fight. Despite suffering a rather lopsided beatdown at the hands of Rafael Dos Anjos less than two weeks ago at Fight Night 27, Cerrone was not medically suspended by the Indiana Gaming Commission and has been given the go-ahead to face Evan Dunham at UFC 167 in November. Dunham is also 1-2 in his past 3, having sandwiched a split decision win over Gleison Tibau between decision losses to T.J. Grant and Rafael Dos Anjos. Getting awfully narrow, this lightweight division is.
And finally, Brian Ebersole — he of the hairrow and the cartwheel kick – has been booked against Rick Story, also at UFC 167. We haven’t heard a peep from Ebersole ever since he dropped a short-notice fight to James Head at UFC 149, snapping an 11 fight win streak in the process. The Indiana native has been battling injuries for over a year and will be given no easy return test in Story, who is also coming off a decision loss — this one to Mike Pyle at UFC 160.
Arguably the most stacked card of the year, UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks goes down from the MGM Grand on November 16th and features a heavyweight do-or-die fight between Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem and a welterweight showdown pitting Rory MacDonald against Robbie Lawler, among several other fantastic fights.