Joe Duffy – a former opponent of Conor McGregor – has claimed that the Irishman should pursue a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz and forget about the rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor was stopped inside two rounds by Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 last weekend, in what was his first fight for over a year.
After the match, ‘Notorious’ made it clear that he would be keen on a third fight against the American, having defeated him in their initial encounter back in 2014.
However, his compatriot Duffy – the second man to defeat McGregor in MMA competition back in 2010 – has urged him to face Diaz instead.
The 35-year-old has a mixed record in recent years, having not fought since losing to Jorge Masvidal in November 2019. Despite emerging victorious over McGregor via submission in March 2016, he would go on to taste defeat in the rematch in August later that year.
And Duffy believes that fighting Diaz would be a better option for McGregor, with the need for a confident showing as important as ever for the Irishman.
He explained, via the Sun: “Being honest if I was him, I’d take the Diaz fight first. I think it’s an easier fight technically.
“Diaz doesn’t improve an awful lot, as tough as he is, it’s not like you’re going to go out and see a different game plan.
“I think it’s a better fight for him, It’s probably his best bet next, then he can look at getting the Dustin fight.
“I think if it was any other fighter it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but because his stock is so high he kind of needs a win to rebound.
“If it was a boxer they’d take a tune up fight and find their feet but in MMA that’s the brutality of the sport, you’re in with killers all the time.
“I do feel like he needs a good fight and he needs a win if he wants to carry on his career at the top in MMA.”
With McGregor now considering his next steps, one potential path appears to have been closed, with UFC president Dana White revealing that Khabib Nurmagomedov wasn't impressed by what he witnessed at UFC 257.
The Russian, who still holds the UFC lightweight championship, suggested he would come out of retirement should any of the performers from the two main fights impress him.
Before Poirier’s success, Michael Chandler knocked out Dan Hooker within one round.
However, it seems as if neither victor has done enough to tempt Khabib to return to the sport, with the 32-year-old now potentially set to vacate his title.
Forgetting about the Khabib rematch is something that Duffy also believes Notorious should do, as he said: "I think that's kind of gone, being honest I wasn't massive on the rematch anyway, especially now.
"If there was more drama in the actual fight and it was closer I'd be more interested.
"I wasn't interested in Conor and Khabib again anyway, your skills are your skills in my opinion and I thought Khabib fought great that fight.
"The Khabib fight I'm less interested in, I'd rather see him in a bit more of a tune-up fight and get a bit more confident against the better guys.
"I'd be more interested in the Diaz fight now, losing almost makes the fight more exciting."News Now - Sport News