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Video: Conor McGregor pays respect to Nate Diaz, Dustin Poirier ahead of UFC 230 matchup

Without a main event in place, the UFC 230 pay-per-view (PPV) card on Nov. 3 from New York City is rolling forward with a co-headliner between top lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and fan favorite Nate Diaz.

It will be Diaz’s first Octagon appearance since losing a majority decision to Conor McGregor back at UFC 202 nearly two years ago. During Diaz’s absence, “Diamond” has maintained his divisional ascension by defeating the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, and Jim Miller.

Considering the way both fighters compete inside of the cage their UFC 230 clash remains one of the most anticipated fights of 2018. Given this is Diaz’s official return, the combat community is paying extra attention.

One fighter taking special notice is McGregor himself, who holds victories over both fighters. During an appearance at UFC 229’s press conference earlier this week in New York City (full replay here), McGregor took a minute to discuss UFC 230’s co-main event.

“I think it’s gonna be a great fight. Two amazing fighters,” said McGregor (shown above). “Nate Diaz [is] as tough as they come. Dustin Poirier took that loss [to me] on the chin and came back and has showcased a good mental strength and has had some great, phenomenal fights and wins inside the Octagon.

“And i’m very, very much looking forward to it. We’ll see what happens after. So, i wish both men the best of luck and we’ll see.”

If McGregor is able to defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 to reclaim the UFC lightweight title he may very well take on the winner of Poirier vs. Diaz. A trilogy bout with Diaz is obviously the more lucrative option, but Poirier has quickly become one of the best fighters at 155 pounds since moving up from featherweight in 2015 following a knockout loss to “Notorious.”

As the promotion searches for a headlining act for UFC 230, Poirier is ready to turn his co-main event tilt against Diaz into an official title fight, which would include the adoption of a 165-pound weight class. It’s unlikely at this time, but it is an option for UFC considering tickets go on sale next week for UFC 230.

Either way, title fight or not, Poirier vs. Diaz should deliver on arrival.

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