Even before Conor McGregor stepped into the ring with Floyd Mayweather, the talk has been McGregor would come back to the UFC to fight Nate Diaz. Even other UFC fighters said it had to happen. Champ champ Conor McGregor said he wanted to fight before the end of this year, making it clear that the Diaz fight would take place in the lightweight division. Unfortunately, his coach has came out and said that UFC 219 will not happen, but has an even bigger date in mind to settle the trilogy.
“[CONOR MCGREGOR FIGHTING NATE DIAZ ON] DECEMBER 30TH IS DEFINITELY NOT HAPPENING. I DON’T KNOW HOW THESE THINGS GET STARTED, BUT THEY HAVE A CERTAIN WAY OF GAINING MOMENTUM. I CAN ALSO TELL YOU THAT HIS MANAGER [AUDIE ATTAR] 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. 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 AUDIE [ATTAR] TOMORROW. I WANT DIAZ 3, PADDY’S DAY IN NEW YORK. OBVIOUSLY, IT COULD STILL BE CANELO IN MAY.”— COACH JOHN KAVANAGH,AS REPORTED BY MMA FIGHTING.
It may be best to give Conor McGregor extra time to heal up (or enjoy the many spoils of his labor) and make sure Nate Diaz has the opportunity for a long camp. Not to mention the insane build-up. While this delays the lightweight division even more, we probably won’t notice. Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee are about to determine the interim lightweight champ at UFC 216, while Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez will follow to potentially decide a new number one contender in December.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 9/27/2017.