ADD another name to the drama surrounding Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Of course, it’s Nate Diaz, McGregor’s long-time rival, and a realistic option for someone who could challenge Nurmagomedov for his lightweight title.
After Dustin Poirier dropped out of his UFC 230 matchup with Diaz, due to an undisclosed injury, UFC president Dana White told the LA Times that the No. 10 ranked lightweight was also ‘definitely’ off the card.
Rumours are constantly flying around about a potential third fight against McGregor, but Diaz has his sights set a bit higher.
“I’ll just fight Khabib when he’s ready,” Diaz told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
Nurmagomedov is the current lightweight champion, after defeating McGregor in four rounds at UFC 229. There’s still a question as to when Nurmagomedov can fight next, following the brawl he started following his win over McGregor, but White shared a glimpse of what the timeline could look like.
“He absolutely keeps his title,” White told TMZ. “And he’s going to get suspended, so maybe you give him a four-to-six month suspension.
UFC 230 would’ve been Diaz’s first fight since losing to McGregor via decision in 2016, and if he wants Nurmagomedov, he’ll likely have to wait until the beginning of 2019 before he’s in the octagon again.
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Nate Diaz’s brother, Nick, recently told FOX Sports in the US that he believes Nurmagomedov — who’s 27-0 in his MMA career — can be beaten.
“You have to have a certain style to beat that type of wrestler on the ground. McGregor’s brand new on the bottom. I think my brother could beat him. I definitely know I could beat him,” Diaz said.
“We’d have to fight at a catch weight, I ain’t trying to get down to 155 pounds.
There’s history between Nurmagomedov and the Diaz brothers, with the two parties getting into a brawl of their own back in 2015, at a WSOF event.