Conor McGregor hints at Nate Diaz trilogy after he calls rival an 'inspiration'
Conor McGregor might be in the news for all the wrong reasons right now, but it's easy to forget just how dominant a force he was in the UFC's featherweight and lightweight divisions as he surged to become the first ever fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously.
And then there's the small matter of the Irishman's brutal fights against welterweight Nate Diaz, which have already become the stuff of legend in the fight game. Arguably two of the greatest fights the UFC has ever seen, Diaz won the first by way of submission, before their epic second bout - described by Joe Rogan as a "dog fight" - was taken by McGregor via majority decision.
Since then, Diaz had remained largely inactive, before he made his comeback at UFC 241 on Sunday to defeat Anthony Pettis in a unanimous decision. McGregor, meanwhile, fought Floyd Mayweather in his professional boxing debut, before returning to the octagon to face the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. He lost that fight by way of submission in the fourth round, before a now infamous scuffle unfolded, during which members of Khabib's team appeared to blindside McGregor inside the octagon.
It's widely assumed that there are really only two fights that interest Conor in the UFC right now; a rematch with Khabib, or a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz, to settle their epic rivalry once and for all.
Either fight would likely break UFC pay-per-view records; it's fair to say that any bout involving Conor McGregor is an easy sell for the UFC, so large is the Irishman's fanbase. Yet, for many, Nate Diaz and the Notorious have always brought the best out of each other. It's an interesting matchup in styles, and with Diaz being the naturally larger guy, it's harder for Conor to score the iconic overhand or straight left knockout blow that made him a household name.
Now, following Diaz's impressive comeback victory over Pettis, Conor has taken to Instagram to congratulate his adversary on the win, calling him an "inspiration" for the Irish fighter's own return to the UFC;
"3 years to the day myself and this Mexican warrior went to war.
Congrats on the win this weekend Nate, it was motivating to see it for my own comeback. I don’t blame you not mentioning me for the trilogy bout post fight, you know what I’m like when I get going. Vicious.
I loved the round 3 style from round 1 that you implemented. It’s what I was hoping you would implement for this bout and was glad to see you do it.
I’ll be prepared for it when we go again. If we go again.
If not, respect always. A war for the ages. No b*tch talk. Just real sh*t."
What do you think? Are Conor and Nate about to run it back and settle the trilogy once and for all?