Nate Diaz turned the MMA world on its head when he beat Conor McGregor at UFC 196. McGregor was scheduled to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight belt after amassing a stellar unbeaten run through the featherweight division, which saw him beat Jose Aldo in a mere 13 seconds to win the belt.
However, his pursuit of double-champion would have to wait after RDA withdrew from the fight due to an injury.
On 11 days’ notice, Stockton native Nate Diaz agreed to step in and fight Conor McGregor. Diaz had delivered one of the most iconic post-fight interviews after beating Michael Johnson when he called out the Irishman in an expletive-ridden rant.
Less than three months later, he found himself locked inside the cage with the biggest star in the sport, one who had never tasted defeat inside the UFC octagon. The fight ended with Diaz submitting the featherweight champion via rear naked choke in the second round.
Previewing Diaz’s upcoming fight against Khamzat Chimaev, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya noted how the Conor McGregor victory propelled Nate Diaz new levels of stardom:
“Without Conor, Nate wouldn’t be as big as he is now… That was his moment, man, stepped in there on short notice and did what he did. And then from there he’s had four fights since.”
Nate Diaz says Conor McGregor trilogy may happen in the future
After their first fight, which shocked the world, Diaz and McGregor met for a rematch at UFC 202. This time, the Irishman walked away with a majority decision win. Fans have been waiting for a rubber match between the two since 2016. However, that seems like a pipe dream at the moment.
Diaz is on the last fight of his contract and has wanted to be a free agent for a long time. Conor McGregor, on the other hand, suffered a traumatic injury last year in his trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier and has been taking time off for over a year. Given the circumstances, it appears the much-wanted trilogy between the Stockton native and the Irishman may never take place.
Fortunately for fans, Nate Diaz offered a glimmer of hope. In a recent interview with Inside Fighting, the UFC veteran said that while the timing isn’t right at the moment, the trilogy will surely take place in the future:
“The timing’s not on right now. We’ll worry about that later. It’s for sure gonna happen at some point… Yeah, at some point. Get back on it and get back on what he’s got to do, whatever that is. It’s like, when we match up we’re going to match up. But we ain’t going nowhere.”
Watch the video Israel Adesanya believes that Nate Diaz owes much of his popularity to Conor McGregor below: