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Conor McGregor has vowed that a trilogy fight against Nate Diaz "will happen", despite his long-term rival preparing to leave the UFC after his bout against Tony Ferguson.
Diaz's upcoming fight against Ferguson at UFC 279 is the final one on his contract and the 37-year-old has been vocal about his plans to walk away from the promotion. He was originally set to face rising star Khamzat Chimaev, but the 28-year-old dramatically missed weight.
As a result, Ferguson stepped in to face Diaz, while Chimaev will now fight Kevin Holland. Ferguson's original opponent Li Jingliang will instead take on Daniel Rodriguez, who was set to face Holland.
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And as Diaz prepares to leave the UFC, McGregor tweeted: "Congrats Nate Diaz on making it to the end of his contractual obligations with the UFC, and as a bonafide superstar goer. An incredible feat. Fair play. Our trilogy will happen."
The pair fought twice before in 2016, with Diaz stepping in as a late replacement for Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 and submitting McGregor in the second round. In the rematch at UFC 202, McGregor got his win back via majority decision.
Talk of a trilogy fight in order to settle the rivalry has been rampant ever since, but has so far failed to materialise. After the second Diaz fight, McGregor beat Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight championship before taking a near two-year break from the sport and facing Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match instead.
Diaz, meanwhile, spent three years away from the octagon after losing to McGregor, returning in 2019 to beat Anthony Pettis before facing Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 for the 'BMF" title. Speaking ahead of UFC 279, Diaz revealed he was open to a third fight with the Irishman.
"The timing's not on right now," he told InsideFighting. "We'll worry about that later and for sure it’s gonna happen at some point.
"He can get back on what he's gotta do, whatever that is. When we're gonna match up, we're gonna match up, but we ain't going nowhere."
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- Conor Mcgregor
- Nate Diaz
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