Conor McGregor may have a long and storied past with fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) great, Nate Diaz, but that doesn’t take away from the respect and praise that “Notorious” has for the Stockton fighter. That’s probably why the Irish superstar is picking Diaz to take care of business in his upcoming boxing match with Jake Paul this August.
The rivalry between McGregor and Diaz is well documented. Diaz stepped up on short notice back at UFC 196 in 2016 and ended up submitting McGregor in the second round. It was the first loss of McGregor’s UFC career and a victory that catapulted Diaz’s UFC stock into another stratosphere.
The rematch produced a different outcome, though, as McGregor adapted to fighting at 170 pounds and defeated Diaz at UFC 202 later in 2016 by way of majority decision. The victory paved the way for McGregor’s eventual UFC lightweight title win over Eddie Alvarez and infamous boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
While the two still share some animosity and seem more than interested in an eventual trilogy fight, McGregor and Diaz greatly respect each other. It’s weird to hear, but McGregor had a ton of nice things to say about Diaz earlier this week in Dublin, Ireland.
“Yeah, yeah, [the relationship] is competitive, but it’s always been respect,” McGregor told Ariel Helwani during a recent interview (shown above). “It’s always been respect – how could you not respect the Diaz brothers, and there resume in the fight game? Real fighters – what’s his promotion? Real Fighters Inc. Fair play to him, you know, he’s a great fighter.”
McGregor was eventually asked about Diaz’s scheduled boxing match with Paul. “Notorious” has never seemed too impressed with the social media star so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that McGregor is riding with Diaz.
“I fancy him for it to be honest,” said McGregor when asked who he thinks will win Diaz vs. Paul. “The other cat is a bit windy. He’s a donkey. The guy’s a donkey, the other cat. But a donkey has a kick as well. You just have to be worried about that.
“I just think it should be Nate. It will be Nate.”
Do you agree with McGregor? Will Diaz be too much for Paul?