The question on everybody’s mind is what lies next for Conor McGregor. A similar question surrounds the future of Nate Diaz.
A ‘two birds with one stone’ solution would be a trilogy fight between the two following their epic encounters in 2016 where both men earned a win over each other. Indeed, Conor McGregor has alluded to the distinct possibility of a rubber match, and reiterated his desire both before and after his loss to Floyd Mayweather at the weekend.
Barriers do remain, however.
Diaz, in pursuit of a payday that he fells he’s worth, has been out of action since UFC 202 a year ago. In the meantime, McGregor has claimed the lightweight championship. Contenders such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee have made their cases known, with the latter two facing off for the interim 155lb. belt at UFC 216 in October.
It’s the earnings argument that has kept Diaz on the sidelines, and his boxing coach, Richard Perez, told Submission Radio that a reward at least ten times that of Nate’s disclosed payout for UFC 202 is required in order for him to return to the Octagon.
“At least $20 million, $30 million,” Perez said to Submission Radio.
“Come on. UFC’s making a whole lot of money – a whole lot of money, and they’re pocketing it. They’re giving more to McGregor, so it’s not fair because it takes two of them in that ring to draw a crowd. It’s just like Mayweather when he fought [Andre] Berto. It wasn’t even sold out at all. It was embarrassing. It’s because that guy couldn’t draw a crowd.
“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.
Dana offered him [Nate] a fight, but he wasn’t willing to pay. If he did that to Conor, Conor would be very upset.”
Though the figure hasn’t been mentioned by Nate Diaz himself, Perez’s view reflects that of his fighter, who has had a long-running pay dispute with the UFC even prior to the proliferation of Conor McGregor.
“It would be such a draw. People would pay to see that. McGregor knows he’s got to clear up that 1-1 record. A real fighter doesn’t want to leave it like that.”
Upon hearing the statement, some MMA writers agreed unanimously with the assessment.
He should get it. The UFC needs to change its pay structure for McGregor's return anyway. https://t.co/YEUDRLYg7q
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) August 31, 2017
If you do the math, Nate Diaz getting $20M for the trilogy fight with Conor McGregor wouldn't be as unreasonable as many people think it is. https://t.co/U33ZNR9v3e
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) August 31, 2017
You can hear the interview in full here.
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