One of the memorable and noteworthy rivalries in the UFC over the last decade came over the course of two fights between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz. It was a feud that cemented the careers of both men as long-term A-side MMA stars.
Almost seven years after their two fights Diaz has moved away from the UFC, while McGregor looks set to return after two years on the sidelines. The potential for a trilogy—which still seems like a potential massive money maker for both men—may seem bleak given the current situation of their contracts. However, in a recent interview, ‘The Notorious’ SBG Ireland fighter nonetheless guaranteed that it will happen someday.
“I’ll get that again. That trilogy will happen at some stage, for sure,” McGregor told Ariel Helwani during a special in-studio interview on The MMA Hour.
“We must fight. We’re one apiece, it’s a great rivalry, and it was a great fight. We gotta square that away, for sure.”
Helwani asked the 34-year-old how that would be possible given Diaz’s uncertainty about where he’s going next, and when a UFC return would happen. But, ‘Mystic Mac’ seemed unperturbed by the idea of contract difficulties.
“Am I a person not to get the fights made and done and happen? When I say, it happens. I have a load of bouts left in me, a lot of stories incomplete. And I’m excited to continue on and get them done.”
McGregor just wrapped up the filming of the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter, coaching against former Bellator champion Michael Chandler. Before the Cesar Gracie talent left the promotion, Diaz was apparently the original option.
“The Ultimate Fighter just kind of presented itself. It was originally to be against Nate. It was me versus Nate.
“I did not mind who it was against, to be honest. Nor do I mind who I’m competing against. That’s widely known. So I had agreed to it, it was Nate. It was, like, a day or two before and now it’s Chandler.
“So I’m not sure what went down on that end, but it was me vs. Chandler, and that’s it. I have no problem with him. I’m happy with it, and it’s gonna be a good bout, for sure.”
TUF 31 premieres on May 30th and will run until mid-August. The target date for McGregor vs. Chandler has yet to be finalized.
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About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)