Following Conor McGregor‘s loss to Floyd Mayweather in his professional boxing debut, he has frequently mentioned a Nate Diaz trilogy fight. Should the fight come to fruition, McGregor wants it in the lightweight class, where he currently holds UFC gold, but it would come at a price.
Diaz and his brother Nick have made no bones about it in recent years, much like McGregor, they are hunting paychecks, not titles. So if McGregor vs. Diaz 3 takes place, Diaz is going to want to make some bank.
Just how much bank?
“At least $20 million, $30 million,” Diaz’s boxing coach, Richard Perez, told Submission Radio. “UFC is 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 in that ring to draw a crowd. I mean, a good two fighters.
“It’s just like Mayweather when he fought Berto. It was not even sold out at all. It was embarrassing. It’s because (Berto) couldn’t draw a crowd. That’s what I’m saying, 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.”
Not only does Perez think that a third fight between McGregor and Diaz would sell, he feels that it would be a walk-off win for his fighter.
Diaz submitted McGregor in the second round of their first fight, while McGregor took a controversial nod via majority decision in the rematch. Perez doesn’t see Diaz having the same issues in a third fight as he did in the second.
“If Nathan goes through training camp with no injuries, McGregor’s not gonna have a chance. I’ll tell you that right now. If you watch some of the fights, like when Nathan fought Cowboy Cerrone and some other guys, he was in tip-top shape. He wasn’t injured or anything. He went out there and did it. He boxed them,” Perez said. “And when he’s in tip-top shape, he can box. I mean, they think McGregor can box, Nathan can box.
“In the last two fights he fought (McGregor), the first time was 11-day notice, so it wasn’t enough time, but it was enough time to get a win. Second time, he got injured, so he had to lay back. So it put him back as far as being in shape and being accurate in timing,” he continued.
“So as far as McGregor coming out in the cage if he fights Nathan and Nathan gets in shape, it should be a good fight, a great fight, because Nathan can move and he’s got great footwork and he can throw a lot of combinations and make McGregor miss, counter off of it, use his reach.”
There are, of course, several UFC options on the table for McGregor when he steps back into the Octagon. UFC president Dana White has mentioned McGregor’s desire to fight undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov on his home turf in Russia. Top contenders Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee are poised to square off for the interim UFC lightweight title in October. And then there’s Nate Diaz.
Once the dust settles from Mayweather vs. McGregor, we’ll likely see a quick turn toward what’s next for the UFC’s biggest star.