Speaking exclusively on Ariel Helwani’s special edition MMA Hour yesterday, Nate Diaz confirmed that he and his management are currently in talks with the UFC about a potential rematch with Conor McGregor for UFC 202 and that he believes that the talk of a Floyd Mayweather fight with McGregor is just a publicity stunt.
“I think the Mayweather thing is a publicity stunt,” said Diaz. “It’s great for both of them. Boxing followers will start following Conor, MMA followers are going to start following Floyd. They’re all benefiting, and no one is losing, so they’re going to keep the ball rolling.
“But every day I hear about this Mayweather s***, it’s always about, ‘Am I going to take the fight?’ It seems like this is a pretty big deal, can I get compensated for it? … I’m like, ‘Hey, I call your bluff. Fight [Mayweather], I’ll be right here.’
“It’s rumors somebody is letting out, because they’re both benefitting off each other’s fanbases and they’re both building off of it. They don’t care if it happens or not, they’re both winning right now from the talk even happening. That’s the truth about what’s really going. The media is working their way and they’re loving it. They’re probably having dinner together every night.”
It was widely reported last week that UFC president Dana White met Diaz in his hometown of Stockton for lunch but that the meeting didn’t go well in regards to negotiating terms for the UFC 202 rematch with McGregor. Diaz confirmed to Helwani that they had failed to agree terms but did say that negotiations were still ongoing and that the two parties were still on good terms.
“Nothing is done, but I don’t think any damage was done,” Diaz said. “We’re still on good terms. I’ve been texting with Dana. He’s real cool. I’m sure he wasn’t the happiest at the moment, and I was thinking, ‘Wow, I might have pissed him off.’
“I just said what I had to say. I told him at the end, ‘I don’t want to piss anyone off. I’m just trying to get mine, because it’s time to get mine. It’s been a long road. I need to get mine while I can. If not, I don’t think I ever will.’
“He was like, ‘I understand, man. It’s not about pissing people off. It’s not about us being pissed. We’ve just got to figure it out.’ So we’ve been texting back and forth.”
While negotiations still remain ongoing with Diaz camp, the American also spoke out about why the UFC had been having difficult relations with the Irishman of late and said they were difficulties of their own making.
“This motherf***** is on top of the world because the UFC wanted his ass in, and the whole Irish fanbase, and they gave him some push,” Diaz said. “They did that for him and got a little ahead of themselves, and probably didn’t realize that. But I did.
“They wanted me to fight him at UFC 200 a week [after UFC 196] or whatever, a couple months later, and I’m like, can’t I sit back for a year and a half and fight Dennis Siver and become the biggest draw and the biggest talk of the town? I don’t think they want any of that. Instead, they start talking about Mayweather and McGregor, and this is the new biggest thing. I’m like, hold up, didn’t he just get his ass whooped two months ago?
“All I’m saying is, he’s getting pushed. They created that monster. They did that to him. My s*** is straight realness.”
If Diaz, McGregor and the UFC all agree terms on a rematch it is expected to take place at UFC 202 on August 20th in Las Vegas.
Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture
When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.
Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”
White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”
Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.
"Conor has said he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that's almost two years…that can't happen." — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.
Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219
On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you's are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me. Otherwise I don't give a bollox.
My whiskey is out this year and thats Diddy bread.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox. My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.
Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia.
Conor McGregor has ‘Every intention of fighting in 2018’
Despite being inactive since his historic boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August, Conor McGregor is never far from the headlines. Recently his out of cage antics have got people questioning if he’ll ever be back.
Thankfully the UFC lightweight champion appears to have cleared up any rumors about his fighting career.
Speaking to his sponsor Betsafe, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor said “My focus is getting back into the right ring or octagon. 2017 was historic. I have transcended both the sport of MMA and boxing. At this stage of my career, as it has been for the majority of my UFC career, potential opponents must lobby for fights with me. We could see Conor McGregor anywhere. I run the fight game, the fashion game, the whiskey game or whatever the next business endeavor might be”.
McGregor added, “I have every intention of fighting in 2018 if my compensation and business development endeavors accurately reflect my influence on combat sports.”
This comes just two weeks after UFC President Dana White told reporters “Conor might never fight again. The guy’s got $100 (expletive) million. I’ve got guys that made less than that and were lawyers and went to school their whole life and quit working.”
White went on to say “Try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you’ve got $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.”
White also told reporters that the “Notorious one”, “can’t be paid enough money” and that he is “worth every penny and more.” McGregor’s recent statement suggests he knows that and won’t be back till his demands are met.
The UFC lightweight division has been stalled in the absence of the champion McGregor and now the interim champion Tony Ferguson has undergone surgery. The UFC has been known the remove belts from fighters who have been delayed for extended amounts of time, this would be highly unlikely with the popularity of McGregor.
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