Nate Diaz believes McGregor’s lightweight title shot was gifted to him by the UFC.
This past weekend at UFC 205, featherweight champion Conor McGregor made history when he defeated lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to become the promotion’s first simultaneous multi-division champ.
Diaz and McGregor met inside the octagon twice this year. Diaz was able to submit McGregor in their first meeting at UFC 196, but dropped a decision to the Irishman the second time around in August at UFC 202.
After winning the rematch, McGregor immediately got a shot at the lightweight title. In an interview with ESPN, Diaz says the title fight turned out as he thought it would, and believes the belt was essentially ‘handed’ to McGregor.
“I think it is a little bit artificial. It was handed over,” Diaz said. “It was good timing for him. He did everything right and they handed it to him … He went into the fight like I expected he would. Especially against that guy. I expected that fight would go exactly like it went.”
Fans have been calling for a rubber match between the two ever since the bell sounded to end their second fight. As far as Diaz is concerned, the UFC is doing their best to keep him out of the mix and isn’t even sure they want him in the same building as McGregor.
“The UFC didn’t even want to give me tickets to this fight,” Diaz said. “I was up in the club box and after the fight everyone is turned around looking at me. I’m like, ‘it’s not my call they’re hiding me out up here’ I think they gave Nick Jonas my seat.
“It might have been in his contract, ‘Don’t let Nate Diaz in here because that might start something’.”
Diaz says he is still interested in a third fight with McGregor, but isn’t about to beg anybody for it. Both fights between the two were record-setting events, ranking as two of the top three events in the companies history.
You’d think with the two of them generating that sort of cash the UFC would be quick to make the rubber match, but Diaz believes he knows what all the hesitation about.
“The UFC knows that is a bad idea for him,” Diaz said. “I know what happened in the fight with me and him the last time and he knows what happened and people know what happened.”
It wasn’t all bad, though. Diaz did have some praise for McGregor and his accomplishments at UFC 205, but feels like calling him the greatest of all time is unwarranted.
“Congratulations to Conor, great job, got the two belts,” Diaz said. “Me and him know what happened in the last couple of fights and the greatest of all time stuff, that needs to come to and end. I don’t remember any of the greatest of all time getting worked over like the last couple fights.”
McGregor’s coach has already dropped the seed that he would like to see McGregor and Diaz fight one more time.
Only time will tell if they actually do.