Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz have unfinished business.
In one of the most natural and heated rivalries in mixed martial arts (MMA) history, McGregor and Diaz captivated the combat sports world from the inception of their first bout in March 2016. An injury to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at the time. Lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos opened the door for Diaz to come and spoil “The Notorious” party.
And he did it while training on Tequila.
Indeed, Diaz defeated McGregor with a second-round rear naked choke submission in the opening game of the series before McGregor won the rematch via majority decision later that year (August 2016). Fast forward more than six years, and the promotion had hoped to stage a trilogy fight at the end of the next one. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 season.
“The Ultimate Fighter kind of showed up,” McGregor said. MMA hour. “Originally it was me versus Nate. So I didn’t mind who it was against, to be honest, or who I was competing against. It’s well known. I had agreed with Nate, it was a day or two before, and now it’s Michael Chandler. I don’t know what happened on that side, but it was me against Chandler and that’s it. I have no problem with him. I’m happy. It will be a good fight, that’s for sure.
McGregor’s comeback meeting against Chandler doesn’t yet have an official date or weight class in place, but it’s expected to take place in 2023. In the meantime, Diaz continues to wander free agency, looking for his next combat sports house.
Although McGregor has no intention of leaving the UFC after completing the next two fights on his contract, he is planning a third fight against Diaz one way or another.
“I’ll get it back,” McGregor said. “We’ll get this trilogy at some point, that’s for sure. It was when he was gone that he was [supposed to be] do the show. So you know how it is, it’s politics and all that.
“We have to fight,” he added. “We are one by piece. It’s a great rivalry, and it was a great fight. So, we have to settle this for sure. Am I a person for not doing and doing the fights? Look at all the fights I’ve had. When I say it, it happens. I have a bunch of fights left in me and a bunch of incomplete stories, and I’m excited to go on and finish them.
TUF 31 will debut on May 30, 2023 and run until August 15, 2023.
For more TUF 31 news and upcoming season notes, click here.
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