When Conor McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205, he became the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions simultaneously. Though it’s known that McGregor plans to follow this momentous accomplishment with a hiatus from competition, it didn’t take long for fans to start debating who he should take on next.
When it comes to McGregor’s next opponent, there seems to be five options. They are, in no particular order: interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo, top lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, and Stockton, California’s Nate Diaz.
In the opinion of many fans – and McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh – Diaz is the most compelling option currently available to the two-division champ. Diaz and McGregor did, after all, go 1-1 across two unforgettable battles earlier this year. Diaz won the first of these fights by submission, while McGregor evened the score in the second with a hard-fought majority decision.
While many people are clamouring for a trilogy-completing battle between the two, Diaz himself is convinced the UFC is not interested in this fight. The fan favorite explained this belief in a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
“The UFC didn’t even want to give me tickets to [UFC 205],” Diaz said. “I think they wanted to put this picture of him on with the belts, [like it’s] the greatest thing that ever happened. I think they wanted to keep me out of the mix and hide me out of the whole thing. It might have been in [McGregor’s] contract, you know, ‘don’t let Nate Diaz in here.'”
“The UFC knows [the third fight] is a bad idea for him.” Diaz continued. “I didn’t get no tickets for that fight, you know? That was crazy. I’ll leave him alone. I don’t even want to fight the guy, just let me get a seat. We got into the fights with some other people we know.”
“I think they gave Nick Jonas my seat.”
Diaz elaborated on his belief that the UFC is avoiding a third bout between him and McGregor:
“I think it’s just to put him on more of a pedestal than they already have put him on,” he said. It’s whatever though. I know what happened in the fights with me and him the last time, and he knows what happened, and people know what happened.”
While he doesn’t believe the UFC is interested in giving him a third fight with McGregor, Diaz assured that this is the fight he wants.
“People will question me like ‘hey, when are you going to do fight number three? Do you want number three, do you want number three?’ and I’m like ‘of course, if I want to do anything, what I want is a third fight.”’
Diaz’s belief that the UFC isn’t interested in giving him a third fight with McGregor is understandable. It is worth noting, however, that his two bouts with the Irish star were some of the most lucrative in UFC history. On that basis alone, the organization must at least be considering the possibility.
Do you want to see a third bout between McGregor and Diaz? Sound off, PENN Nation!