Conor McGregor’s delay in noting rival Nate Diaz’ return and call for his next opponent had a motive.
Diaz made his long-awaited return Saturday night at UFC 241 with a unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis. Afterward, Diaz called out Jorge Masvidal to take on in defense of the title. (And the two appear interested in making that happen.)
Fans were expecting it to be McGregor, which would set up a rubber-match fight. Diaz won in a second-round submission on March 5, 2016 and McGregor won via an epic five-round decision on Aug. 20, 2016.
It was Diaz’ last fight until Pettis.
McGregor stayed mum about Diaz’ return on social media. His only mention was retweeting Dillon Danis: “makes you think just how good is Conor McGregor.”
He broke the silence Tuesday, the three-year anniversary of their final fight, and said he’d be prepared if the two go again.
“I don’t blame you not mentioning me for the trilogy bout post fight, you know what I’m like when I get going. Vicious. I loved the round 3 style from round 1 that you implemented. It’s what I was hoping you would implement for this bout and I was glad to see you do it.
“I’ll be prepared for it when we go again. If we go again. If not, respect always. A war for the ages.”
McGregor said it was “motivating to see it for my own comeback.” The Irish fighter last fought Oct. 6, 2018, against Khabib Nurmagomedov and has encountered legal issues since. Most recently he was caught on surveillance tape punching an old man at the bar during a dispute over whiskey.
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