It’s one of the most historic rivalries in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship – and that’s not an exaggeration. Back at UFC 196 in early 2016, Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz went head-to-head in a short notice bout that had many MMA fans feeling pretty intrigued.
Then, the actual fight happened, and it went above and beyond what anyone could’ve expected.
After an initial first round surge from McGregor in which he was seemingly on the verge of getting a finish, Diaz fought back and earned a second round submission win that sent shockwaves across the sport.
Just a few months later, they ran it back at UFC 202 with ‘Notorious’ being the one to get his hand raised this time around after an all-time classic five round war.
The last six years have seen fans clamouring for the UFC to run it back but up to this point, it hasn’t quite come to fruition.
With Diaz preparing for the final fight on his contract, Dana White has explained why he isn’t too upset that the trilogy never happened.
“Conor’s not ready yet,” White said. “Conor’s leg isn’t healed yet. Nate could obviously sit around and wait for that, but he doesn’t want it. I don’t know what he’s got planned or what he’s thinking, but right here, right now, he’s ready to fight. He wants to go, and we’re going.
“That’s one of those fights you can do any time, but no, it never worked out that way. Listen, if you get two guys like Conor and Nate, who want to fight each other bad enough, it ends up happening.”
“No, it’s not like, ‘Oh god, I never got the chance to make number three,” he said. “The first two were awesome. That first round with Conor and Nate in the first fight was insane. Conor was landing these crazy bombs, then Diaz comes out in that second round. It was madness, and then the second fight was awesome. If it happens, it happens, but we got enough out of the first two.”
The next step
At UFC 279, Nate Diaz will attempt to ride off into the sunset in style when he battles rising prospect Khamzat Chimaev.
On the flip side, fans are still waiting to hear some official news regarding the return of Conor McGregor following his recovery from a broken leg.