John Kavanagh McGregor’s coach has rubbished rumors that the UFC lightweight champion will meet Nate Diaz at UFC 219, saying he hopes the pair could complete their trilogy on St. Patrick’s Day instead.
McGregor is yet to secure an opponent for his next fight following his recent foray into boxing, while the UFC haven’t locked in a headliner for their year-ending Las Vegas card.
Irish newspaper The Sunday World last weekend reported McGregor-Diaz trilogy in the works for UFC 219 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, but UFC President Dana White flat-out denied was “not true at all.”
Speaking at a fashion launch in Dublin, McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, were asked about the rumors that gained steam in recent weeks.
Kavanagh said. “December 30th is definitely not happening,”
“I don’t know how these things get started, but they have a certain way of gaining momentum.”
Kavanagh then floated his idea for the rubber match against Diaz.
“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,” Kavanagh said.
“That’s what I would push towards.
“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.
“That’s what I’ll be leaning towards with my 0.1 percent influence when I meet with Conor and (manager) Audie (Attar) tomorrow. I want Diaz 3, Paddy’s Day in New York.”
McGregor hasn’t fought in the UFC since he claimed the lightweight belt with a win over Eddie Alvarez last November.
So why Diaz again for the 3rd time? Why not the conventional move of unifying the title against the Ferguson vs. Lee winner at UFC 216? Because, as Kavanagh put it, “Conor doesn’t have to do that anymore” – as in, he doesn’t have to take fights according to rankings or what’s deemed the right thing.
There’s that and simply the allure of Diaz.
“I always think that if I was to develop a fighter that would give Conor his best or worst night, either way, you look at it, I would come up with Nate Diaz,” Kavanagh said. “He can walk through anything. He can match him somewhat in the trash talk, and then you have the thing between Conor’s crew and his crew.
“For a bunch of reasons (Diaz is the right fight). It’s not just about being the right guy; that’s all amateur level. This is professional, and it’s about entertainment. (MMA) is part sport, part entertainment, and I just find it hard to think of a better build-up and a better show than that trilogy fight.”
We agree, as its hard to argue with Kavanagh’s stance here.
McGregor and Diaz have split two incredible fights, with Diaz choking out McGregor at UFC 196 and McGregor taking a hard-fought majority decision in the UFC 202 rematch. They were both great fights and broke PPV records, so despite what the rankings say, it makes sense for business and the spirit of competition.
They have to settle the score. And, well, doing it on St. Patrick’s Day would just be an added bonus to hype it up. With all the Irish in attendance, that arena might never be the same again.
Source: MMA Junike, MMA Hits