Michael Bisping believes Conor McGregor should take a 'tune-up fight' against Nate Diaz before facing Dustin Poirier for the fourth time, adding he needs to 'blow off the ring rust' after breaking his leg.
The Notorious broke his tibia and fibula at the end of the first round of his trilogy fight with Poirier at UFC 264 on July 14.
However, the Irishman has been advised against jumping straight back into the Octagon to run it back with Poirier, as Bisping believes he needs a warm-up fight before taking on the American once again.
Instead the UFC legend has urged him to consider a trilogy fight against Diaz in order to sharpen his tools.
"Hopefully, we see that fight," Bisping told the 'Believe You Me' Podcast.
"I’m not sure if he wants to come back, Conor I’m talking about, after what’s probably going to be about a year’s lay-off and fighting Dustin for the third time.
"You kind of want to get your whistle wet. Find your mojo, blow off that ring rust.
"Nate would be the guy. Then, if Conor beats Nate, then he fights Dustin, because, you know, they are going to do a fourth fight.
"The fourth fight will be absolutely massive, but I think if I was Conor’s manager, if I was advising him, I would say "take a tune-up fight", you know what I mean?"
American underdog Diaz, 36, caused a huge upset when he submitted Irish superstar McGregor, 33, at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Arena.
McGregor was caught by surprise by a stiff one-two from Diaz before being submitted in the second round in their first fight - but the Crumlin ace has left the door open to a series decider before he retires from mixed martial arts.
McGregor has 'lost some of his ability'
The former UFC champion told MMA Fighting: “If he comes back, if I’m his manager, I don’t want my client to come back to fight the same guy again for the fourth time.
"Because now it seems like Dustin has his number. He needs to perhaps take another fight.
"I think he should come back and maybe fight Nate Diaz or someone else that has a different style than Dustin Poirier.
"Because styles make fights and I have the feeling that now Dustin Poirier probably has his number right now.
"Conor’s been out for a long time. He needs to get back in there to spend more time in the Octagon, in order to find his own self, the way he moves, and his ability.
"It seems like he might have lost some of his ability, due to his inactivity.”News Now - Sport News