Concurring with UFC president Dana White, McGregor coach John Kavanagh recently said that a Dec. 30 date for UFC 219 is “definitely not happening.”
Speaking to Mike Sheridan at an event on Wednesday in Dublin, Kavanagh shot down the Dec. 30 date with Diaz, but left the door wide open for a trilogy bout in early 2018, even laying out his perfect scenario.
McGregor has a strong contingent of followers everywhere, but particularly so in New York, and that’s where Kavanagh would like for the trilogy bout to take place… on Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2018.
“I don’t know how these things get started, but they have a certain way of gaining momentum,” Kavanagh told Sheridan when shooting down the Dec. 30 date, per MMAFighting.
“I can also tell you that his manager rang me this morning saying that him and Conor had been in meetings all day. Obviously, tomorrow is when we would start to consider the date. If it was my choice, and I must stress that this is only my choice and that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, it would be Nate Diaz in March. That’s what I would push towards.”
The last time McGregor fought was in New York at Madison Square Garden. That is where he made history, capturing his second UFC world title while simultaneously holding the first. He defeated Eddie Alvarez to become lightweight champion at UFC 205 before being forced to relinquish the featherweight title he already held.
That event, as with many things related to McGregor, drew incredible numbers. There was an announced attendance of 20,427, which accounted for a stunning gate of $17.7 million. The event also drew an estimated 1.3 million pay-per-view buys.
It’s no wonder that Kavanagh would want McGregor’s first UFC bout in more than a year to be at Madison Square Garden, it’s a humongous stage, adding to a fight for which there is already tremendous demand.
“I have in my head that it would be a Paddy’s Day card in New York, Nate Diaz 3. I think that would be absolutely amazing. That’s what I would wish for,” Kavanagh continued.
“That’s what I’ll be leaning towards with my 0.1 percent influence when I meet with Conor and Audie (Attar) tomorrow. I want Diaz 3, Paddy’s Day in New York.”
Whether or not it will come to fruition remains to be seen. There has been chatter of a match-up with Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia and Tony Ferguson is fighting Kevin Lee for the interim lightweight title next week at UFC 216, so there are plenty of options. All the rumblings, however, keep pointing to a third match-up with Diaz, which is a fight that McGregor has been steadfast in believing will happen.