Conor McGregor shows appreciation for Nate Diaz’s surprising support: ‘That’s a real fighting man’

Conor McGregor shows appreciation for Nate Diaz's surprising support: 'That’s a real fighting man'

Conor McGregor showed his appreciation for Nate Diaz’s message of solidarity on St. Paddy’s Day.

McGregor and the ‘Stockton Samurai’ are known for engaging in one of the fiercest rivalries in UFC history. But that didn’t stop Diaz from showing some support to his former foe after the Irishman expressed frustration surrounding his delayed return to the Octagon.

“This was me for years before Conor even got here,” Diaz wrote on X. “They want [you] to die before [you] get out these contracts. It’s up to you to make something pop. No one gonna help you but you. Free Conor, it’s [St.] Patty’s Day in this b*tch.”

Nate Diaz knows all too well what it’s like trying to book fights and make money within the confines of the UFC’s notoriously restrictive contracts. After 15 years with the promotion, he finally broke free and walked away to pursue some big-money matchups in the world of professional boxing. The TUF alumnus has since competed in a 10-round tussle with Jake Paul last August and is scheduled to run back his BMF title fight with Jorge Masivdal inside the squared circle on June 1.

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Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal

Conor McGregor was admittedly surprised to see Diaz making calls to “free” him, but the former two-division champion was more than welcoming of the support.

“Nate is great. When you share back-to-back knocks — we had real, real fights. That’s a real fighting man, the two brothers are real fighting men,” McGregor said on The MMA Hour. I always had the highest respect for the two lads, and f***, I was a fan of the lad. I was a fan of them, and then I got to share the octagon with them — we had wars, we boxed each other around. And I appreciate it, appreciate [the support].

“I wish him well, always. I’ll always wish to see past opponents and future opponents — potential future opponents again — to see them do well. And what a monumental moment that will be, when we get that [trilogy fight] done. So I’m excited for it” (h/t MMA Fighting).

Conor McGregor reacts to Dana White nixing his trilogy fight with Nate diaz

With the UFC slated to make its debut inside The Sphere for this year’s Mexican Independence Day celebration in September, Conor McGregor believes it would be the perfect opportunity to close out his trilogy with Nate Diaz. Unfortunately, UFC CEO Dana White did not agree, and immediately squashed any possibility of the fight happening.

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UFC 306 at The Sphere

“The cold water, [White threw] cold water it instantly,” McGregor said. “That’s huge. That, to me, has The Sphere written all over it. Mexican Independence Day. Nate Diaz is an American Mexican and a beloved fighter and a real fighter. Now, he’s hard to deal with with the lads [UFC executives], and I don’t know all the ins and outs, to be honest — and I know the lads are hard to deal with also. So I think it’d be amazing and it would suit me lovely — the date in summer and into September, I believe I get my two fights in this year.”

Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor

McGregor and Diaz competed in back-to-back bouts between March and August in 2017. The first went down at UFC 196 when Diaz handed the Irishman his first career loss inside the Octagon via a second-round rear-naked choke submission. They ran it back five months later at UFC 202 with McGregor coming out on top the second time around via a majority decision.

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Fans have been clamoring for a third fight between the two ever since. While both McGregor and Diaz have remained adamant that they will meet again, Dana White has expressed nothing, but disinterest in putting the contest together.