In March of this year, Nate Diaz shocked the world by submitting then featherweight champion Conor McGregor in the second round of a last-minute welterweight fight. Given McGregor’s previous dominance, and his status as MMA’s biggest star, he was given an immediate shot at redemption against Diaz. Though this rematch with Diaz was initially expected to headline UFC 200 in July, it ultimately occurred atop UFC 202 in August. When it finally did go down, McGregor nabbed a majority decision from Diaz, evening their score to 1-1 in a bona fide Fight of the Year contender.
Given that McGregor and Diaz are now tied across two fights, a massive third fight between them seems like a pretty logical choice for the UFC. Their first two fights, after all, were two of the most successful pay-per-views in the promotion’s history.
As it turns out, the UFC has recently taken some steps toward another Diaz fight – though not the one you’d expect. According to BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor, Nate’s older brother Nick was recently offered a fight with the Irish star.
In a twist that should surprise absolutely nobody, however, the famously loyal elder Diaz turned down this massively lucrative fight, calling it “Nate’s fight,” and explaining that he doesn’t want to deprive his younger brother of the opportunity for a rubber match with McGregor.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because the Diaz brothers’ loyalty to one other is nothing new. In the wake of his March defeat of McGregor, Nate was asked about potential fights with Georges St-Pierre and Robbie Lawler, but said he wasn’t interested in either as they were both Nick’s fights.
“THE BIGGEST THING WITH LAWLER AND GSP – I WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL ABOUT THOSE FIGHTS AND I AM, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, MY BROTHER [NICK] IS COMING BACK AND THOSE ARE HIS FIGHTS,” THE YOUNGER DIAZ TOLDESPNAFTER HIS DEFEAT OF MCGREGOR. “THOSE ARE NICK DIAZ FIGHTS. I’M NOT TRYING TO STEP ON HIS SHOES.”
Nate Diaz has not stepped foot in the Octagon since his August rematch with McGregor. Apparently, it’ll take a payday of $20 million to get him to do so. Nick Diaz, meanwhile, recently wrapped up a suspension stemming for an early 2015 fight with Anderson Silva. While he doesn’t appear to be interested in a fight with McGregor, recent reports have suggested that he could find himself in the Octagon with the bloodthirsty Robbie Lawler in the near future.
What do you think of Nick Diaz’s choice to turn down a fight with Conor McGregor? Sound off, PENN Nation!