Diaz has been rejecting fights since November (©GettyImages)
Diaz has been rejecting fights since November (©GettyImages).

Nate Diaz and TJ Grant removed from UFC Lightweight rankings

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Both Nate Diaz and TJ Grant have been removed the UFC's Lightweight division rankings in a mid-event shake up.

Usually divisional changes happen a day or two after an event but the UFC has decided to remove both fighters after it originally updated them last Monday, post-UFC 172 and just days before UFC Fight Night 40.

It comes just days after the UFC announced Jim Miller versus Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 45 in July, which came as a result of both fighters and Khabib Nurmagomedov refusing the fight.

Nurmagomedov refused the fight on religious grounds because the event takes place around the time of Ramadan, when the Dagestani-born fighter would be fasting and thus unable to complete proper training ahead of the fight.

For Diaz and Grant, the reasons are different but the punishment is the same.

Diaz has made it clear that he is unhappy with his contract and would like a pay rise, which the UFC has rejected until he fulfills his eight fight contract.

He last fought in November, when he knocked out Gray Maynard in the first round and since then all he's talked about is money, not who he's going to fight next. After refusing to fight Miller, Cerrone and Nurmagomedov, the UFC has removed him from the rankings until future notice.

"Nate Diaz has been removed due to inactivity related to his refusal to accept bouts," the UFC told ESPN.com. "There is no timetable for if and when he returns. Thus, he's been removed from the rankings."

His future with the company is unclear, although he has been linked with a rematch to Josh Thomson, who called out Diaz's older brother, Nick on Twitter on Saturday. While Thomson said he was hacked, Nate responded calling him a liar.

The last time they fought, Thomson battered Nate, ending the fight via TKO.

For TJ Grant, his removal from the rankings came down to a concussion he suffered in training late last year. The former #3 ranked fighter has missed two title opportunities with the injury.

He was initially supposed to face Benson Henderson for the title at UFC 164 last August, but was replaced by Anthony Pettis, who then won the title. His fight with Pettis at UFC on FOX 9 was cancelled after both fighters withdrew with injury.

Since then his return to UFC has been unclear and he's still waiting to be cleared by his doctors and while he waits, his hopes of a title shot fade fast as contenders like Nurmagomedov rise through the ranks.

Grant is still a front runner for the title though, provided he can make it back soon. As for Diaz, he can continue to hold out but it's unlikely that UFC are going to change the contract or let him go, leaving Diaz in the hole.

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