Conor McGregor Is King of the UFC Again With Victory Over Nate Diaz
The Irish superstar, now the highest-paid fighter in MMA, is already taking trilogy after Saturday’s UFC 202 win.
Conor McGregor was out for blood in his Saturday night rematch against Nate Diaz in UFC 202 and he got plenty of it. Fighting with cool precision, McGregor was relentless in taking Diaz down, winning decisively in five rounds.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) August 21, 2016
With his comeback victory, McGregor secured some satisfaction after his shocking loss to Diaz in their first match at UFC 196. “After that fight when I lost and I’m looking at all these people and they’re all celebrating my demise and saying I’m done and this,” he told Fox Sports, “It certainly lit a fire under my belly.”
Fire is right. It’s easy to root against a fighter with McGregor’s over-the-top bravado, but there’s no denying he put in the work—and to his credit, Diaz made McGregor work. Judges scored the rounds as wins for McGregor in 1, 2, and 4, but Diaz dominated in rounds 3 and 5, leading to speculation that this was the UFC fight of the year.
McGregor, who also became the highest-paid UFC fighter ever with $3 million, seemed to agree, telling Diaz in a gesture of respect that it “was the best fight” he’s ever had, reported CBS Sports. Yahoo also ran down some tweeted quotes from McGregor later in which he called Diaz “one tough motherfucker.”
As for Nate Diaz, he’s ready to make his rivalry with McGregor into a full-fledged trilogy:
Nate Diaz says he won't take another fight until he gets a third shot at Conor McGregor#UFC202
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) August 21, 2016
As exciting as McGregor-Diaz II was, UFC president Dana White said ‘not so fast’ regarding talk of a third fight, telling reporters “We’re definitely not doing this a third time right now.”
It’s probably the best for now, as McGregor left the venue on crutches and Diaz took an all around beating, bloodied and in pain at the end. CBS Sports reported that McGregor is also likely to focus on the featherweight title, dropping weight so he can face the current champ in that class, Jose Aldo.
After Saturday we have to admit that while it’s obvious the fighters need to heal and get back in fighting form, we certainly wouldn’t turn down the idea of an epic McGregor-Diaz III. It doesn’t feel like the story is over, yet.