Conor McGregor would ‘love’ to welcome Nate Diaz back to lightweight, possibly with a title on the line


Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

For all the championships and accolades Conor McGregor has amassed during his UFC career, a pair of non-title fights against Nate Diaz may still be what people talk about the most.

The rivalry sprung up out of necessity when Rafael dos Anjos was forced out of a title fight against McGregor and Diaz was selected as a late notice replacement. He then shocked the world by submitting McGregor in the second round by rear naked choke.

Five months later, McGregor exacted his revenge during a bloody back-and-forth battle with Diaz that ended in a majority decision win for the Irish superstar.

Since that time, McGregor and Diaz have danced around the idea of a trilogy but a third fight between them has never been booked.

Just recently, UFC president Dana White hinted at Diaz’s return while revealing that the promotion was working on a potential fight for him back in the lightweight division. While there remains plenty of options available for Diaz’s return to action, McGregor would love to see his name on the other end of a contract so they could settle some unfinished business once and for all.

“I’d love to compete against Diaz,” McGregor said when speaking to the MacLife. “We will compete again. If it happens at lightweight for a title, that would be something special, also. There’s many great options that are in the works and let’s see what happens. I am ready.”

As soon as White hinted at Diaz fighting at lightweight again, McGregor was quick to volunteer his services rather than playing matchmaker for his former opponent.

With a chance to settle a rivalry with a third fight, McGregor has always pushed for another showdown against Diaz and he’s not going to pass up on this opening if it’s available to him.

“I think if he’s going to come down to 155, he should come down for me to be honest with you,” McGregor said. “I hear maybe giving him a shot in there but Nate’s a warrior, Nate’s a goer. Nate shows up, steps up and fights. It’s not necessary I feel to have him fight at 155 against another contender. I feel maybe it should be me and Nate. If he’s going to do 155, we could possibly do that for the belt.

“If not, I’d probably just fight Nate at 170 pounds again. Reason being, we fought at 170 twice. Why mix it up for the trilogy? If there’s belts and titles and loftier things on the line for certain, a 155-pound challenge with Nate would be something. Many great fights and many great options and I’m very excited about every single one of them.”

While he’s open to a return to welterweight for the Diaz trilogy, McGregor is mostly interested in competing at 155 pounds, which starts with his fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.

Assuming he’s successful, McGregor envisions a long run in the lightweight division where he previously served as champion yet he actually only competed in the weight class twice under the UFC banner.

“I would like to put a stint in at 155 pounds for sure,” McGregor said. “I came into the UFC as a featherweight and I went through the division. I gave it my all in that division and I tore through it like a chainsaw through butter. Interim title, unified title. Then I went up and reached for greater heights. Went to the lightweight division, became lightweight champion and became the first duel weight champion in the company’s history. Then other things presented themselves regarding the Floyd [Mayweather] fight and everything went where it went. I went to the welterweight division, also.

“I never got a good stint at 155 pounds. A consecutive stint like I done in the featherweight division. I’d like to do the same here in the lightweight division, that I done in the featherweight division. Give it a good run and tear through the division. There’s many good fighters, good competitors in there. I feel levels above them all. I would like to put that stint in there.”

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