Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz practically owned the UFC in 2016 as they delivered two of the most shocking and enthralling fights in recent memory. Now with both on hiatus from the octagon, the notion of a deciding third encounter is fast losing its appeal to fans.
So suggests a recent poll that was completed by fans following the news that UFC president Dana White has revealed the lightweight champion is looking to fight twice in 2017.
With much of McGregor’s future endeavours apparently wrapped up in a potential boxing clash wiyh Floyd Mayweather, MMA fans have had to focus their attention elsewhere for a bombastic UFC personality.
Jose Aldo and Max Holloway set to engage in a tantalising featherweight title bout at UFC 212 in June and Tony Ferguson has cemented his place as the number one contender in the lightweight division following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weight cutting issues, thus giving fans plenty to be excited about in the absence of last year’s top two protagonists.
Now, on the back of White’s revelation that McGregor seeking to dust off the cobwebs, it was put to fans who they would like to see the Irishman face, Nate Diaz, Ferguson or the winner of the Aldo – Holloway clash.
Perhaps unsurprisingly was the fact that Ferguson came out on top in the poll of over 1300 fans, with 50% of the vote. What does surprise is that a third installment of the Diaz rivalry trails behind the Aldo-Holloway winner by 23% to 27%.
It has now been nine months since McGregor and Diaz went to war at UFC 202 and with new stars emerging all the time in the promotion, there has been plenty to offer fans while the Stockton native and his Irish foe enjoy the fruits of their labour away from the octagon.
The extraordinary scenes both fighters gave us last year have slipped in to the realm of recent memory, leaving fans postulate about what other adventures might await McGregor on his return.
It must be said however that should the two protagonists renew their old rivalry in the coming months, there is likely good money on the UFC booking the pair for another wildly lucrative headline event before too long.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena