Nate Diaz claims he is fighting for new UFC belt at Madison Square Garden
If this was the big surprise announcement the UFC was planning, the cat is out of the bag.
Right now, UFC 232 at Madison Square Garden is a stacked card without a main event.
BJ Penn is set to take on Ryan Hall, Carlos Condit and Michael Chiesa will do welterweight battle, Cris Cyborg is set to take on UFC women's featherweight champion Amanda Nunes.
Asked about Jon Jones returning to headline the pay-per-view, at the UFC 229 press conference, Dana White said, "He will not fight at the event; 100%.”
Nate Diaz is set for the main card, too, in a lightweight fight against Dustin Poirier. The winner of that bout would surely be next in line for a shot at whoever emerges with the undisputed 155lbs belt - Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Not so, according to Diaz anyway. The Stockton native, last night, took to Twitter to claim his fight against Poirier would be for a newly minted 165lbs belt.
I’m Happy to announce that I’m bringing a new weight devision to the Ufc
I’ll be fighting the main event November 3rd in nyc against Dustin Poirier for the first ever 165lb belt superfighter devision
I’m happy to be apart of history @ufc @danawhite
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) September 26, 2018
Poirier definitely seemed down for the new crown too.
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 26, 2018
The 'Superfighter' division, although not by that name, has been spoken about in the past as part of a shake-up in the UFC weight classes. Some feel more classes should be introduced in light of the spate of missed weight cuts and main cards being adversely affected.
The well connected ESPN correspondent Brett Okamoto reached out to White, the UFC president, to ask if there was any truth to Diaz' proclamation. It looks as though Diaz could be running a flag up a pole and trying to get himself a shot at the gold.
Just spoke to Dana White on the phone, he denied any plans of a 165-pound title fight at Madison Square Garden. Says he’s still working on a main event for UFC 230.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 26, 2018
A denial from White does not kill this one stone-dead, however.
It is worth noting that White famously denied Anderson Silva would be fighting Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, only for 'The Spider' to take to the Octagon for a tilt at the light heavyweight title. If the UFC cannot secure the bumper main event for the PPV, don't be surprised if Diaz and Poirier ring in a new division.