- MMA columnist for ESPN.com
- Analyst for “MMA Live”
- Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun
Two of the UFC’s most popular fighters continue to express interest in facing one another; however, there are no concrete plans to schedule the bout as of yet.
In a social media post on Wednesday, Nate Diaz implored the UFC to book him a fight against former lightweight interim champion Dustin Poirier. Diaz (20-13) has not fought since a unanimous decision loss to Leon Edwards in June, but has made it clear in recent months he’s ready to accept his next bout.
“[UFC] stop playing wit me, consider this my signature to fight this f—er,” Diaz wrote on Twitter. “I been trying to fight for a minute, quit slowing down the real fight game it’s time.”
Poirier (28-7) has also asked for the fight on social media. The potential matchup has been discussed behind the scenes, but has not materialized thus far.
UFC president Dana White told ESPN on Wednesday that Diaz will obviously get a fight, but was noncommittal on a date or an opponent.
“Of course we’re interested [in that fight],” White said. “This is what we do. We make fights every weekend. What happens is guys just want to jump out of nowhere. ‘I want to do this, I want to do that.’ We have fights booked all the way to, I want to say May 2. Everything is in place. Everything is done. Obviously, Nate Diaz will get a fight.”
Diaz, 36, is on the final fight of his current UFC contract. If he does not sign an extension, an obvious candidate for that final fight would be Conor McGregor. The two fought twice in 2016. Diaz won the initial meeting on short notice by submitting McGregor in the second round. McGregor evened the score with a majority decision five months later.
White confirmed he does have interest in a third fight between those two, but said it’s too early to speculate on how feasible it is. McGregor is still recovering from a leg injury he suffered in a TKO loss to Poirier last year.
“It could be [McGregor-Diaz], but it’s going to depend — I think Conor is going to be back this summer, but I don’t know if Conor will be back this summer,” White said. “It’s all going to depend on how Conor’s leg heals and a million other things that could happen between now and summer. So, to speculate is stupid. I just stopped doing that.”
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