Nate Diaz vs. Michael Johnson added to UFC on FOX 17
Published on Tuesday, 8/25/15, at 1:35 a.m. Eastern.
Nate Diaz will return to the Octagon to face Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 17 in Orlando on Dec. 19. The news was first reported on Fox Sports LIVE late Monday night.
Diaz (17-10 MMA, 12-8 UFC) hasn’t fought since dropping a unanimous decision to current lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos last December. The 30-year-old Stockton, Calif., product has limped to a 1-3 record since a three-fight run of wins earned him a 155-pound title shot against Benson Henderson in December of 2012.
Diaz missed weight (by four pounds) for the first time in his career the last time out vs. RDA. He spent the previous 12 months complaining about his contract and hasn’t been any happier this past year.
Johnson (16-9 MMA, 8-5 UFC) has essentially won five consecutive fights, although he saw his four-fight winning streak snapped when he came out on the wrong end of an incomprehensible split decision against Beniel Dariush earlier this month.
‘The Menace’ dominated Dariush in the first two rounds and the third round couldn’t gone either way. It isn’t a stretch to call it one of worst decisions in UFC history. Before that unfortunate setback, Johnson rolled through the likes of Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, Melvin Guillard and Edson Barboza.
Diaz owns a 10-5 career record in 15 UFC fights in the lightweight loop. Nevertheless, I expect him to be a considerable underdog here, perhaps north of +200.
This Orlando show will be headlined Dos Anjos vs. Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone for the lightweight championship. Nate Marquardt vs. C.B. Dolloway will also be on the card.
In other UFC news, the promotion announced that Anthony Johnson won’t be suspended and will still fight at UFC 191 vs. Jimi Manuwa on Sept. 5. ‘Rumble’ went on a social-media rant last week in regards to an incident at a gym with a woman, calling her ‘ugly’ and comparing her looks to a ‘bag of dry dog food.’
Johnson apologized a day later. The UFC had a third-party law firm investigate the situation. On Monday, the promotion released a statement saying it was ‘extremely disappointed’ in Johnson and that he would undergo counseling and make a donation to a women’s charity in Florida.
The last of the UFC 191 odds were sent out Monday and can be seen in full below. I like Frank Mir as an underdog vs. Andrei Arlovski and will have more picks next week.