Conor-Nate 3 Dana White will be 'shocked' if Conor McGregor Nate Diaz rematch doesn't happen
"As you know, McGregor vs. Diaz I and II were INSANE ... from the trash talk leading up to the events to the knock-down-drag-out fights the men put on"
Dana White has raised the tantalising prospect of a third Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz encounter, saying he would be “shocked” if it didn’t happen.
The UFC President said a rematch between the two could be on the cards even though Diaz has hinted that he might retire if he’s given a shot at taking on Dustin Poirier, another former McGregor foe.
"We're still working on [the Diaz-Poirier] fight,” White told the TMZ Sports. “That fight's not done yet. I wouldn't count out a Conor-Nate 3.”
He added: "Listen, I'd be shocked if that fight didn't happen again.
“As you know, McGregor vs. Diaz I and II were INSANE ... from the trash talk leading up to the events to the knock-down-drag-out fights the men put on.”
McGregor, who is making a steady recovery from his broken leg suffered during a trilogy bout with Poirier in July 2021, has declared that he will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon later this year.
The Dubliner, who was at Friday’s Bellator 275 in Dublin, said he is "almost back"
He told Severe MMA: "Day-by-day, I feel better. They're telling me to take it easy, but I feel I can go. I feel like I need to pull the reins back on my own self, so that's kind of what I'm doing... I'm happy with it. I'm almost back and that's it."
White said he understood that the Dubliner was "chomping at the bits to come back".
"Realistically, when you look at everything that he’s got going right now with coming back and other things that need to be done to get ready to prepare again, it’s probably early fall.”
Despite being the underdog heading into the first fight in March 2016, Diaz forced Conor to tap, after submitting him with a rear-naked choke.
White set up an immediate rematch later that year and in August, the two UFC superstars faced off again. This time, McGregor beat Diaz via a majority decision with two judges scoring Conor the winner, and the third deciding the fight was a draw.
Following White’s recent announcement that Charles Oliveira is set to defend his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, McGregor said if he was “wise” he would wait a further month or two.
“If your man’s wise, he might give it another month or two,” McGregor said, discussing Oliveira, at Bellator 275 in the 3Arena, where he was supporting his SBG teammates Lee Hammond and Sinead Kavanagh.
“July seems okay for me,” he added.
“I can’t say too early, but July, if I’m sparring in April, May, June, July — I could slap the head off of most of these guys at the end of April.”
The Crumlin native said that upon his return to the UFC he wants more respect for his style of fighting.
“It’s about time this game starts giving me respect for my different styles of fighting – my ground, my shots downward, my shots upward,” McGregor said.
“No matter what’s going on with the leg, I scoot into open guard. I’d play open guard attacks. People are going to give me my respect for all of the facets of my game.
“Even the downward shots, from bottom, the elbows, the kicks. Even since that fight, you see people trying to implement them and make them. It’s not the same,” he said.
“There are levels to this game. The game is going to understand and give me my respect for my multiple facets for my game.”
Giving an update on his leg injury, he added: “There is an 11 per cent chance that this bone won’t heal,” he revealed.
“We’re past that now but there was an 11 percent chance that the bone would never heal. It’s called a non-union, where the bones don’t join. It’s something similar to what’s happening to Chris Weidman right now at the minute. That means I’ll forever be on that instability, but like I said I’m past that stage now,” he added.
“But this will be a here today, gone tomorrow type of thing in my own head. The bone will recover, it’ll connect back to itself and it’ll be like it never happened.”
McGregor, who has been enjoying many nights out at his Crumlin pub in recent times, said he is going to have to stay away from the boozer ahead of his return to sport.
“I’m going to isolate myself. I’m going to stay away from the pub. I’m going to stay away from my delicious Forge Irish Stout, from my tasty, smooth Proper Irish Whiskey.”
“I’m going to dedicate myself to my craft 100 per cent. Give it a month or two of that and see how everything goes and make the move.
“There’s no worry, no rush. I know a lot of people are supporting me. I want to do them well. I want to do my support well,” he said.
“That’s what we’re going to do.”
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