Michael Bisping believes Nate Diaz has surpassed Conor McGregor in terms of popularity in the fight game.
Since his August 2016 rematch against McGregor, Diaz has been disputing the notion that he can’t draw outside of sharing the Octagon with McGregor. He’s been at odds with UFC president Dana White, who once claimed that Diaz isn’t a “needle mover.” Diaz changed those opinions at the conclusion of UFC 241. The event broke a live gate record for MMA cards in the state of California.
Speaking on his Believe You Me podcast, Bisping argued that at this point Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal could be bigger than a trilogy bout with McGregor.
“I’d say a bigger fight right now, well maybe not bigger, but to a casual fan I don’t know Masvidal’s pretty big right now,” Bisping said. “Look at what he just did.”
Co-host Luis Gomez didn’t agree with Bisping, who doubled down and went as far as to say McGregor would be the “B-side” if he fought Diaz again.
“Conor would be the B-side in that fight right now,” Bisping stated. “In terms of popularity, I don’t know I think Diaz may have surpassed him. He played that perfectly. He took three years away from the sport, came back, didn’t get the push from the UFC. [He] kinda like went up against the UFC. He was kinda that guy and came out on top. He won that battle. He was sensational, the fight was fantastic. The performance was great, he handled himself in a way that people love. He’s real, he’s authentic.”
“If [Diaz] does not want the trilogy bout, no problem,” McGregor told ESPN (via Bloody Elbow). “I don’t blame him. Look at the fights, look at the damage. They were intense bouts. That does not matter. It does not matter now. It’s time for me to just get back in.”
Do you think Nate Diaz would be the “A-side” against Conor McGregor in a trilogy bout?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/26/2019.