'bonafide superstar' | 

Conor McGregor promises Nate Diaz trilogy ‘will happen’ as he pays tribute to UFC legend

Diaz submitted Tony Ferguson in the main event of UFC 279 on Saturday in what was the final fight on the 37-year-old’s UFC contract

Conor McGregor plans to fight Nate Diaz again. Photo: PA© PA

Alex PattleUK Independent

Conor McGregor has paid tribute to Nate Diaz after the American’s final fight in the UFC, promising that a trilogy bout between the old rivals ‘will happen’.

Diaz submitted Tony Ferguson in the main event of UFC 279 on Saturday (10 September) in what was the final fight on the 37-year-old’s UFC contract.

In his post-fight interview at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Diaz said: “I wanna get out [of] the UFC for a minute and show all these other fighters how to own up another sport. Then I’m gonna be right back here to get a motherf*****g UFC title.”

McGregor traded wins with Diaz in 2016, and many fans have long wished to see the pair square off again.

Ahead of Diaz’s victory over compatriot Ferguson, McGregor tweeted on Saturday: “Congrats Nate Diaz on making it to the end of his contractual obligations with the UFC, and as a bonafide superstar goer.

“An incredible feat. Fair play. Our trilogy will happen.”

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After winning the UFC featherweight title in December 2015, McGregor sought to become the company’s first dual-weight champion by challenging then-lightweight title holder Rafael dos Anjos in March 2016. However, an injury saw Dos Anjos replaced by Diaz, who took on McGregor at welterweight.

Diaz submitted the Irishman in the second round, leading to a rematch between the pair five months later. McGregor, 34, won that fight via majority decision, before dethroning Dos Anjos’ successor Eddie Alvarez as lightweight champion in November 2016.

McGregor has fought just five times in six years since his rematch with Diaz, winning twice – including his victory over Alvarez. The Irishman last competed in July 2021, suffering a broken leg in his second straight defeat by Dustin Poirier.

Meanwhile, Diaz has fought just four times since his second clash with McGregor, going 2-2 across those bouts.

McGregor is expected back in the Octagon in early 2023.

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