Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz engaged in an epic war in 2016 with the two fighters splitting a pair of matchups between March and August with the world watching every second shared between the two bitter rivals.
Between press conferences that nearly boiled over into full blown riots, Diaz bringing McGregor’s hype to a screeching halt by submitting him in the first fight or the two of them engaging in arguably one of the greatest fights of all time in the rematch — this rivalry had a little bit of everything.
Unfortunately according to UFC president Dana White, the McGregor vs. Diaz war will end after just two fights because he just can’t justify making a third matchup between the two of them.
“We should have never done it in the first place. That’s what weight classes are for,” White told the “Michael Kay Show” last week. “They wanted to do it, we did it. They wanted to do it again, we did it again. They’re 1-1.
“There’s only so many of those wars you can be in, in your career and it takes a lot out of you. Some guys go into wars like that and they’re never the same after.”
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images/Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
When it comes to this particular battle, White refers to Diaz as a ‘170-pounder’ and a ‘massive guy’ but those words ring somewhat hollow considering the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner has competed for most of his career as a lightweight.
Diaz did fight at welterweight four times previously in his UFC career while posting a 2-2 record between 2010 and 2011. In those final two losses, Diaz was out powered and out muscled by Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald, which eventually led to his move back down to 155 pounds.
Still, White just doesn’t want to see McGregor go through the kind of grueling wars that he’s seen change fighters for the worst in the past.
White may be wrong tagging Diaz as a natural welterweight but he’s certainly not off base when examining the lasting effects of a hard fought battle where some competitors never truly recover afterwards.
Despite the millions of dollars the UFC would stand to make from a third fight between McGregor and Diaz, White just isn’t on board to make it happen.
“Look at Meldrick Taylor when he fought Julio Caesar-Chavez, there’s one for you. I mean he was never the same after that fight,” White said. “We’ve had those types of fights, too. I believe that Rory MacDonald was never the same after the Robbie Lawler fight. That fight ruined him.
“So I don’t want to do that to someone special like Conor McGregor. It’s just not right.”