It’s hard to know if Nate Diaz will be really happy with Dana White’s latest comments on the possibility of a trilogy-completing clash between he and Conor McGregor, or really irked by them.
“The problem with the rubber match is Diaz is a 170-pounder,” White said during a recent appearance on ESPN’s The Michael Kay Show. “He’s a massive guy. Conor is a very talented guy, he’s very, very good. Every time he goes out there he looks better… [But] we should have never done it in the first place. That’s what weight classes are for. They wanted to do it, we did it. They wanted to do it again, we did it again. They’re 1-1(Transcription via MMAFighting).”
“There’s only so many of those wars you can be in in your career. It takes a lot out of you. Some guys go into wars like that and they’re never the same after it. Look at Meldrick Taylor when he fought Julio Cesar Chavez. He was never the same after that fight. We’ve had those type of fights too. I believe that Rory MacDonald was never the same after the Robbie Lawler fight. That fight ruined him. I don’t want to do that to someone special like Conor McGregor. It’s just not right.”
The fact that White is essentially admitting that the promotion wants to protect McGregor from the warmongering Stocktonian has got to be music to Diaz’s ears in one sense. It validates claims that he has made time and again since the pair’s August clash. However, it also suggests that the 31-year-old has little chance of securing the only fight that seems to interest him at present any time in the near future.
Even more galling perhaps, White continues to propound the narrative that McGregor’s win over Diaz at UFC 202 was an act of giant-slaying – something the UFC president and, indeed, McGregor himself have done routinely in recent months.
Diaz has already taken issue with claims that he weighed 190lbs on the night of the rematch and he is unlikely to be pleased with White branding him a welterweight here.
It must be said that this narrative is getting a little tiresome. Diaz may be a bigger man than McGregor and he did compete in the welterweight division at one time, but prior to his first fight with the Dubliner, Diaz hadn’t fought at 170lbs since April 2011.