All things come full circle. We’ve been awaiting Conor McGregor’s triumphant return to the UFC, but way back before the sweat dried from his boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather, Nate Diaz was expected to be his opponent when he came back. A lot has gone on since then, but now it seems the interest has been renewed along with Diaz’s anticipated return as well. However, there is a catch. While McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh would love a giant conclusion to their trilogy, he says that the winner between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is next in line.
“There’s a beautiful relationship between Conor [McGregor] and Nate [Diaz], in terms of there [being] a great back and forth between them outside of the cage and inside of the cage. It’s a lovely fight. His five-round rematch is still one of my favorite fights. That being said, I did assume that Nate would be as busy, or busier, than Conor. You know, Conor’s had an MMA fight and a boxing fight since. We haven’t seen Nate since so I started changing. You could see it among the fans who, I’ve always said and I still do believe, are the most important factor because they pay for the pay-per-views they want to see.”
A real elbow in a real fight. pic.twitter.com/9kZ7Opw8Zl
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 11, 2018
“It was clearly becoming that [the fans] wanted to see Khabib [Nurmagomedov] or Tony [Ferguson] in there rather than Nate, probably for the same reason that Nate didn’t keep busy. So, I don’t think it would be quite right for [McGregor vs. Diaz III] to happen before the winner of Khabib/Tony because all of Conor, Khabib and Tony have kept busy. Nate hasn’t. I think Nate should get one in in the meantime. Him and [Tyron] Woodley, I hear there are rumors of that or him against a good lightweight. If the MMA gods smile, it would be a victory for [Diaz], Conor fights the winner of [Nurmagomedov/Ferguson] and then you’ve got this amazing super fight for New Year’s Eve.” — Coach John Kavanagh speaking to TheMacLife h/t to MMA NYTT.
No one can really blame Nate Diaz for waiting, but due to his inactivity, he has been passed up for the next ‘red panty night’ against Conor McGregor according to Kavanagh. With Artem Lobov being booked on the UFC 223 card which is headlined by Nurmagomedov and Ferguson, you know McGregor himself will be in attendance. Could this be setting up a clash between the winner? If the planets align, it looks like Conor McGregor could fight at least twice this year with some wishful thinking.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/15/2018.