Hoping for a trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz? Don’t hold your breath.
Although there’s plenty of money to be made in another installment of the wildly entertaining UFC rivalry, Diaz made it clear Monday in an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that he has no interest in fighting McGregor for a third time.
“I’m not interested in it at all,” Diaz told Helwani. “I’m interested in winners. He lost his last fight, and I won my last fight. You think I’m trying to fight someone who just got his a– beat all over the place? I’m a black belt in jiu-jitsu. That s— wouldn’t happen to me.”
To be clear, Diaz lost his most recent fight, with McGregor winning their rematch at UFC 202 in August 2016. Diaz doesn’t agree with the judges’ decision, though, and he did defeat McGregor via second-round submission in their first bout at UFC 196 in March 2016.
So, wouldn’t Diaz welcome the opportunity to prove once and for all he’s the better fighter? Well, not exactly.
“(The UFC) were dissing me, saying I (expletive) turned down fights,” Diaz told Helwani. “I was like, ‘Dude, what are you talking about?’ You’re giving this guy the world, and you’re putting this guy down. That’s why I haven’t been fighting. Why would I work for you while you’re over here playing me?”
It’s been nearly three years since Diaz stepped into the octagon. He’ll make his much-anticipated return against Anthony Pettis in a welterweight showdown at UFC 241 on Aug. 17. After that, it’s unclear what Diaz will do, although he said Monday he has no plans to return to lightweight, where Khabib Nurmagomedov is expected to defend his title against Dustin Poirier in September.
“Three years went by and then they start expecting me to start screaming for (expletive) Conor as soon as he loses? Nah, dude, I won that last fight,” Diaz said. “I’ll fight Khabib. Then Khabib is playing like I have to win something to get to him. I’m like, ‘What are you talking about, dude? You have to win to get to me. I slapped you.’ ”
Diaz currently owns a 19-11 career MMA record. Another fight against McGregor might not have the same luster it once did, thanks in large to The Notorious losing to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 last October, but the first two clashes were absolute wars. A trilogy fight still would hold intrigue.
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