Conor McGregor says Nate Diaz might price himself out of a trilogy fight
As Conor McGregor plots his return to the UFC, the lightweight champion has plenty of options for his next opponent.
The name at the top of the list appeared to be Nate Diaz, who currently holds the only win over McGregor in the UFC as the fighters split a pair of fights in 2016.
All signs seemed to be pointing towards McGregor vs. Diaz 3, but the Irishman now cautions that his biggest rival since joining the UFC roster might be asking for too much to make the fight happen.
“Diaz is there, Nathan is there. He’s sitting there. He’s trying to come in and make all these kind of demands,” McGregor said at a Q&A session in Scotland last week (via the Daily Star)
“But if he starts pricing himself out of an event, then I probably will defend against the winner of this interim belt or someone along that line to kind of legitimize it again.”
Diaz made a disclosed $2 million payday for his last fight against McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016.
The interim champion will be crowned this weekend as Tony Ferguson meets Kevin Lee in the main event at UFC 216 in Las Vegas.
On paper it only makes sense that the winner of that fight would meet McGregor next year to unify the titles, but it’s hard to pass up on a lucrative payday like a third bout with Diaz would undoubtedly produce.
That being said, McGregor is still basking in the glow of a reported $100 million payday he received to fight Floyd Mayweather in August so it’s impossible that any matchup in the UFC would even come close to those figures.
It’s part of the reason why McGregor is teasing a potential return to defend his lightweight title against the interim champion rather than chasing a third fight with Diaz. Then again, McGregor is a master negotiator and this could all be part of his plan to secure the matchup he really wants.
“I’ve already gone from the highest of the high in terms of a money fight. Now the question I always get is about defending the belt and legitimizing the sport and the rankings,” McGregor said.
“Maybe now it would be a good time for me to go do that and shut that side up.”