Nate Diaz is serious about returning to the Octagon in 2018, and he is looking at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley as his next opponent.
The UFC star hasn't fought since a majority decision loss to Conor McGregor in their lucrative rematch in August 2016. Diaz (19-11) told ESPN he was content sitting out in 2017, but is "ready to rock and roll" this year.
A potential trilogy bout against McGregor (21-3) is always on the table, but McGregor's status remains in flux.
In the meantime, Woodley (18-3-1) has repeatedly called out Diaz in recent months, and Diaz is open to discussing that matchup with the UFC.
"I'm getting to the point where I'm sick of not fighting. I'm not getting any younger," Diaz told ESPN. "I put that tweet out saying I wanted to fight in May or June, but I didn't say who because I was weighing my options. And now, Woodley is my best option.
"I see him on TMZ every week, talking about me. I'm like, 'What the f---? If that's what you want to do.' It's not really my weight class, but I'm with it. I think it's my title we're fighting for. If he's the one calling me out, whose title are we fighting for? Who's the real champion here?"
When asked when he'd like the fight to take place, Diaz mentioned UFC 226 on July 7 as a possibility. His preference is to fight in Las Vegas.
"I'd like a good two or three-month camp," Diaz said. "We'll figure it out. There's definitely going to be something. I'm trying to fight."
Diaz's comments come one day after Woodley told ESPN a title fight between them is "way more likely than people realize."
From a rankings standpoint, the fight would make little sense. Woodley is the undisputed champion. Diaz is a longtime lightweight, and coming off a loss. The welterweight division has a strong No. 1 contender in Rafael dos Anjos (28-9).
But Diaz, 32, says the UFC already expressed interest in booking the fight last December. UFC president Dana White refuted those rumors at the time, citing miscommunication -- but according to Diaz and Woodley, there was genuine interest in putting it together.
"They called me out of nowhere, when I wasn't trying to fight nobody," Diaz said. "They asked if I would fight Woodley and I said, "Well, I'd like a three-month camp.'
"I told them I'd fight him on shorter notice, but would send them what I wanted in the contract. It was nothing out of the norm. My boxing coach said something about $15 million in an interview, but that was never the number.
"Then I saw in the media, the UFC said they never approached me about it. I was like, 'F--- it then. I wasn't the one asking for the fight.'"
It remains to be seen whether the bout will come together now.
In addition to White's claims that dos Anjos will challenge Woodley next, the UFC has a main event for July 7 in Las Vegas -- a heavyweight super fight between champion Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
As far as his rivalry with McGregor, Diaz had little to say. McGregor is the UFC's lightweight champion, but has not defended his title since he won it in November 2016. The Irishman pocketed the largest paycheck of his career last August, in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather.
"He's just living his life right now and he's got a magnifying glass on him, whatever he's doing," Diaz said. "I don't give a f--- what he does.
"I'm sure he's up and down. 'Do I want to be in these lights? Why am I not in these lights? I need to get in the lights. I need to get out of the lights.' It's a crazy roller coaster."