As the world turned its attention to UFC 249 on Saturday night, UFC superstar Conor McGregor might have inadvertently tipped his hand in regards to who he intends to face inside the UFC’s Octagon next.
After UFC president Dana White posted a picture on social media featuring McGregor’s well wishes the fighter sent via Twitter to everyone involved with the card this weekend, McGregor’s old foe Nate Diaz chimed in to tell McGregor to “shut…up”.
McGregor then blasted back at Diaz, seemingly indicating he was waiting for Diaz to “sign the contract” for what would be a massively important third fight between the popular MMA stars.
The exchange happened in the comments section of White’s Instagram post and was captured for easy viewing by journalist Anton Rose as seen below.
So it would seem McGregor’s next UFC target is Nate Diaz, at least that’s how the Irishman wanted it to appear on social media on Saturday night.
Moreover, Diaz had already been shortlisted months ago as one of the probable frontrunners per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani to face McGregor next.
McGregor vs. Diaz 3 Makes Sense
McGregor, 31, and Diaz, 35, are knotted at 1-1.
Diaz (20-12) defeated McGregor (22-4) via second-round submission in the Irishman’s first appearance at 170 pounds at UFC 196 in March 2016. But McGregor evened the score five months later at UFC 202 via majority decision.
McGregor’s last fight was a stunning 40-second drubbing of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246 in January. That was only McGregor’s third fight in the UFC’s welterweight division, his other two appearances being against Diaz in 2016.
Meanwhile, Diaz suffered a controversial stoppage loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 in November 2018 for the first-ever UFC BMF title. While Masvidal seemed to have things going his way, the fight was stopped by the ringside doctor after the third round due to cuts around Diaz’s eye. Diaz is known for coming on strong during the later rounds, so many observers felt cheated by the circumstance.
Both of McGregor’s fights against Diaz were box-office successes, and the third fight would likely be even bigger. Moreover, both contests were compelling action fights that would seem to need a rubber match to ensure the rivalry has a clear victor.
Besides, neither of the popular stars are currently booked right now. McGregor seemed to be on his way to facing Justin Gaethje next before the American jumped into the main event of UFC 249 after Khabib Nurmagomedov dropped out.
Meanwhile, Diaz was promised a rematch by Jorge Masvidal in the immediate aftermath of their fight last year, but things seemed to have changed since.
Now Masvidal is expected to face UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman or friend-turned-rival Colby Covington.
In short, both McGregor and Diaz need worthy opponents for their next fights, and neither is likely to find a better one than the other.
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