Conor McGregor: Nate Diaz Trilogy Fight Must Happen

UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor reminded fans at a Q&A in Glasgow on Friday night that he is not short on options

From a rematch in the ropes against Floyd Mayweather to the first defense of his crown against the winner of the interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee, the Irishman is spoiled for choice.

And it does not end there.

McGregor recognizes that the time to defend his title has come. The general consensus in the MMA community is that he will choose Nate Diaz for the first defense of the strap he took from Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden in 2016 and “The Notorious” appears to favor a rubber match with scores currently one apiece for each man.

For McGregor, defending the title and settling the score with Diaz seems the perfect way of handling his return to the octagon:

“Look, I’ve got the UFC title to defend and that means something to me. I will defend that world title,” McGregor declared, speaking to Caroline Pearce at An Evening with Conor McGregor at the SEC Armadillo.

“Nathan (Nate Diaz) is there. He’s trying to come in here and make all of these demands. If he starts pricing himself out of an event, I probably will defend against the person who wins this interim belt…or someone along that line to legitimize it again.

“I’ve already gone from the highest of the high in terms of a money fight. Now the question I always get is about defending the belt and legitimizing the sport and the rankings.

“Maybe now it would be a good time for me to go and do that and shut that side up.”

McGregor also took pot shots at division rivals Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, highlighting the Russian’s propensity for pulling out of fights:

“Again, we’ll see what happens in the fight (next) week. I hope they make the walk. I’ve seen it so many times where they slip on the bleedin’ soap getting out of the bath,” he said.

“Honestly, I feel like in the Tony and Khabib fight, they were in a game of chicken of whose going to pull out first.”

McGregor, long criticized for his lack of title defenses (none of his two UFC titles or two Cage Warriors straps before that) will now look to working towards his first defense:

“I’ve done the money fight. I’ve done the pinnacle of a money fight – I fought for the money belt – the WBC money belt it was called,” said McGregor, in reference to the Mayweather fight.

“In my head now, I’m very interested in seeing this fight this weekend and to see how the lightweight title picture pans out and to go in and correct that whole situation. That’s where my thoughts are.

“I also have history with Nate. It’s 1-1 and that has to happen. It will happen. The more I spend time away from it, I think I’ve already done all of the money fights. Now, to legitimize a title and to bring it back, I could potentially bring it back.

“That’s a little bit exciting for me. I’ll see how this whole title picture plays out and we’ll go from there.”