The UFC’s return to Madison Square Garden has lost its most anticipated match-up.
An injury sustained by Dustin Poirier in training in the lead-in to UFC 230 forced his removal from a co-main event bout opposite a returning Diaz and, as confirmed by Dana White to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, the Stockton native won’t fight a replacement on the New York City card.
Nate Diaz definitely off UFC 230, Dana White tells me…
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) October 10, 2018
Diaz vs. Poirier had been lined up as the co-main event to the unlikely headliner between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks but, with the card less than a month away, that fight has been scrapped entirely.
Shevchenko will now face Joanna Jędrzejczyk in December, while Derrick ‘Hot Ballz’ Lewis will challenge Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title in the new Madison Square Garden featured bout.
As for Diaz, who hasn’t competed in the UFC since losing a decision to Conor McGregor in August 2016, per Ariel Helwani he says that he is now holding out for a title bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Asked @NateDiaz209 what’s next now that Dustin Poirier is out of UFC 230. His response?
“I’ll just fight Khabib when he’s ready.”
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 10, 2018