Fan Favorite Nate Diaz Explains Exactly Why Conor McGregor Won’t Face Him in Final Grudge Fight…
There are only a few great rivalries in the UFC that capture the imagination. Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier and Chuck Liddel vs Tito Ortiz are two of the best. But for sheer drama and chaos, Conor McGregor’s ongoing feud with Nate Diaz is one of the best.
The pair has fought twice already. The first time, at UFC 196, Diaz famously took the fight with less than two weeks to prepare. He agreed to face the highly-favored McGregor at welterweight and proceeded to stun the world by submitting the Irishman in the second round.
McGregor decided that he wanted the chance to prove that this was a freak loss. He faced Diaz again in August 2016, at UFC 202, this time winning by decision. The fight has been voted the greatest ever in a recent UFC poll. It’s expected that they’ll finish the trilogy at some point. However, Nate Diaz has told TMZ that McGregor is actively ducking him.
Neither fighter has fought in the octagon since 2016. Diaz’s last appearance was against McGregor, while the Irishman last fought for the lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez. Diaz’s stock within the company had never been higher, but he was prepared to wait for the trilogy fight against McGregor before fighting in the UFC again.
That hasn’t worked out for the Stockton native. McGregor has since fought once, in a $100 million boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. Now he’s in the middle of a brutal rivalry with Khabib Nurmagamedov, which has seen him land in court on assault charges.
Diaz believes he knows exactly why the ‘Notorious’ isn’t ready to fight him again. In an interview with TMZ, he outlined the main reason why he hasn’t fought since UFC 202, and why McGregor won’t take him on. He said:
“He’s scared for his life. I’m gettin’ paid regardless.”
The Californian believes that McGregor is scared of losing again because that would further impact on his popularity and marketability. Diaz is prepared to wait as long as it takes to face off against the Irishman one last time, to show the world who is really the better fighter.
Time Will Tell
It remains to be seen whether or not the fight will ever happen. Despite Diaz’s claims, the momentum has really gone out of their rivalry. McGregor’s recent spat with Nurmagamedov has stimulated the potential for that fight to be incredible.
Meanwhile, the other match-up that McGregor is constantly being linked to these days is a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, under MMA – or at least modified – rules. By waiting to be rebooked, Diaz has possibly missed a trick.
However, Diaz has signaled that he is ready to return at some point this year. One exciting fight for him could be against Tony Ferguson. The former interim champion won’t be back in action for about six months, but the pair has never fought. A win for either man would instantly make them much more attractive to McGregor. Especially if he beats Khabib.