A fight involving Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz is the biggest bout that the UFC could make, according to former UFC champion Dan Cormier.
âThat is what I believe draws the general fan in as much as anything that they could do in the UFC right now,â according to the DC & RC show on ESPN.
McGregor and Diaz are long-time rivals having twice fought each other in 2016.
Diaz won the first fight by second-round rear-naked choke submission, before losing a five-round decision to McGregor in the rematch.
âBecause of Nate Diaz and the intrigue, the way the first fight played out, the way the second fight played outâ a third fight could also appeal to a wide audience, Cormier said.
They have been linked with a trilogy ever since, but itâs a fight that is yet to come to fruition.
Perhaps, until now.
Though McGregor has long been linked with a match against Michael Chandler, a source close to the Irishman told Heavy that heâd like to fight Diaz this year, too.
It is likely something the UFC boss Dana White would approve of as the two fights theyâve already competed in are firmly in the top-10 best-selling UFC events of all time.
The first fight, held at UFC 196 in March, 2016, sold to 1.3 million homes in the US, according to MMA site Tapology. The rematch five months later generated 1. million sales at the US box office.
âIt is still two of the highest-grossing pay-per-views in UFC history,â said Cormier.Â
âThese two men when you put them together make a lot of money and it is far enough out there to be considered an attraction.â
McGregor And Diaz Are On The Slide
Cormier noted that neither of these A-list athletes are the same fighters as they were in 2016.
Since the 1-1 rivalry with Diaz, McGregor has two wins against three losses. Remarkably, Diaz has the same record since his two fights with McGregor.
âI also believe at this point in their careers, sure, Nate Diaz isnât the guy he was before.Â
âHeâs not the guy that fought the most beautiful striking exhibit against Michael Johnson in Florida, where he went and, âConor McGregor, youâre taking everything I worked for.âÂ
âHeâs not that same guy, but neither is Conor McGregor.â
Diaz Left The UFC in 2022
Diaz’s last bout with the UFC was against Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 â a 2022 match in which he won via guillotine choke.
That fight was the final bout on his UFC contract.
At that point, he was free to discuss deals with alternative promotions, and, according to The Independent, went on to score a $500,000 payday when he boxed Jake Paul in a crossover match in 2023.
At the end of that year, he intimated that heâd be willing to return to the UFC as he thought competing at the upcoming UFC 300 show would âbe tight.â
âWhat I will say about UFC 300, itâs missing a big fight,â Cormier said on the DC & RC show.Â
âThat big fight that itâs missing has to have a backstory. That big fight has to have bad blood.â
McGregor vs. Diaz 3 would certainly fit all that criteria.
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