Conor McGregor’s future is uncertain at the point. After a whirlwind 4 months in the boxing world and a loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., McGregor is now faced with moving forward and choosing a follow-up act.
Nate Diaz has been one of the more talked about names when discussing McGregor’s next dance partner. The two put on back to back thrilling fights in 2016 that topped PPV records. Richard Perez, Nate Diaz’s boxing coach, says that the UFC will have to spend big bucks if they want to see the trilogy completed.
“At least $20 million, $30 million. Come on. UFC’s making a whole lot of money, a whole lot of money and they’re pocketing it,” Perez said to Submission Radio.
Excluding PPV points and bonuses, Nate Diaz made a disclosed $2.6 million from both McGregor fights. Diaz would earn 10 times more for a McGregor trilogy if the $20 million price tag stuck.
“They’re giving more to McGregor, so it’s not fair because it takes two in that ring to draw a crowd – I mean, a good two fighters.”
After a record breaking PPV fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015, Mayweather went on to sell an estimated 400,000 PPVs in his follow up fight against Andre Berto. Perez argues that the same could happen to McGregor if Diaz isn’t his next opponent.
“It’s just like Mayweather when he fought Berto. It was not even sold out at all. It was embarrassing. It’s because that guy couldn’t draw a crowd. See, that’s what I’m saying, it’s the fighters that draw the crowd, and Nathan and McGregor, third one would be outstanding. Everyone knows that. So he needs to get paid at least $30 million easy."
The two PPV’s headlined by McGregor and Diaz, UFC 196 & UFC 202, reportedly drew 1.5 million and 1.65 million buys respectively. McGregor’s follow-up fight was against Eddie Alvarez, which headlined a stacked PPV featuring three title fights in New York City. The card reportedly sold 1.3 million PPVs, a major number for the UFC but less than both Diaz fights.
When speaking about a third McGregor/Diaz fight, Perez says that Diaz would look much better than he did in their second fight, as Diaz dealt with injuries through the second fight camp.
“"If Nathan goes through training camp with no injuries, McGregor’s not gonna have a chance,” Perez said, “I mean, they think McGregor can box, Nathan can box. Right now in the last two fights he fought him, the first time was 11-day notice, so it wasn’t enough time but it was enough time to get a win. Second time he got injured so he had to lay back, so it put him back as far as being in shape and being accurate in timing.”
If the two are going to settle the score once and for all, McGregor says that Diaz must “come down” to Lightweight and fight him for the UFC Lightweight Championship.
“I’m the 155-pound champion, I’ve faced him at 170, he beat me. Then I rematched him at 170, I beat him. Now I’m the 155-pound world champion, if he wants that fight, he must come down.”
Nate Diaz’s last fight at 155lbs was a win over Michael Johnson in December 2015. Diaz has fought 16 out of 22 UFC fights at Lightweight, missing weight once in 2014.