UFC president Dana White has continued to teeter-totter on who is next in line for a shot at the lightweight throne. He initially promised the winner of Saturday’s main event between Nate Diaz (Pictured) and Jim Miller the opportunity, only to flip-flop and grant Anthony Pettis the nod following his highlight-reel head kick to put Joe Lauzon to sleep at UFC 144.
The organization has vaguely promoted this weekend’s shootout as a “Lightweight eliminator bout.” However, on Wednesday White set the record straight on who will face the winner of UFC 150’s title tilt between champ Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar.
With a win, Diaz gets next dibs at the 155-pound crown. A victorious Miller, on the other hand, will be forced to collect another W or two before he gets a crack at the hardware.
“Should Diaz win, Diaz is definitely getting a title shot,” White flatly stated. “Should Miller win, Miller’s probably gonna be a fight or two away.”
White likened the situation to the UFC’s second show on FOX, where Rashad Evans would earn the chance to challenge light heavyweight king Jon Jones with a win, while Phil Davis still needed to prove his mettle against the field regardless of what happened in the scrap.
Diaz has found new life since dropping back down to the lightweight division. The 27-year-old dominated Japanese legend Takanori Gomi at UFC 135 and followed it up by posting the most impressive performance of his career by trouncing Donald Cerrone at UFC 141.
Miller was well on his way to securing a championship affair until Henderson brought his seven-fight winning streak to a stretching halt in August. He rebounded nicely by disposing of Melvin Guillard in his most recent outing.
White did not say where this move leaves Pettis, who has reiterated that a drop to the featherweight class is not in the cards.
“UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller” takes place inside IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. FOX will broadcast the main bouts live beginning at 8PM ET/5PM PT.