In just 10 days, UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor will challenge lightweight king Eddie Alvarez in a bid to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles in two weight classes concurrently. The two stars will collide in the main event of the historic UFC 205, which marks the UFC’s long-awaited debut in New York City, New York.
At this stage of the game, fans and fellow fighters are divided in their predictions for the fight. Some are leaning one way, some are leaning the other, and some simply can’t make a pick one way or the other.
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez falls into this latter category. Despite his indecision as to the outcome of UFC 205’s main event, however, he believes he knows who will be next in line for the bout’s winner: his long-time friend and training partner, Nate Diaz.
Diaz has been in the UFC for years, but recently established himself as a bona fide MMA superstar over the course of two legendary battles with McGregor. Given this, Melendez believes he’s a smart choice for the next lightweight title shot – whether that means a rubber match with McGregor, or an appealing firefight with Alvarez
“I think [Nate] fights the winner,” Melendez recently told Champions.co. “We’re talking about business here and how things work … Eddie wins that fight, you know, I think Nate gets that fight. I think Conor wins that fight, I think Nate gets that fight as well … that’s what people want to see.”
Melendez then reiterated that pairing Diaz with the winner of UFC 205’s main event is just good business.
“We’re talking about business here, and how things work. That’s what people want to see.”
Melendez, of course, is not wrong. Diaz has become a massive star, and his being paired with McGregor or Alvarez down the road would mean big bucks for The UFC. Were this happen, however, it would likely rattle the cages of several other top lightweights, namely the streaking Khabib Nurmagomedov, who takes on Michael Johnson on UFC 205’s undercard. If Nurmagomedov wins, he’ll move to an incredible 24-0 overall, and will be a hard man to deny the title shot – a shot he’s been promised in the past.
Do you think Nate Diaz deserves the next lightweight title shot? Sound off, PENN Nation!