Photo Credit: Dave Mandel
Former UFC middleweight champion, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has voiced his opinion on what matchup next awaits the recently victorious, Conor McGregor. The British mixed-martial-arts pioneer believes the former featherweight and lightweight title-holder will pursue a rubber-match with former foe, Nate Diaz next, rather than a BMF championship clash with Jorge Masvidal.
‘The Notorious’ one returned to the win-column in spectacular fashion at UFC 246 earlier this month, lodging a forty-second knockout barrage over UFC veteran, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. In what’s been perceived as a particularly busy upcoming year, or “season” for McGregor, the Dubliner is planning at least three Octagon appearances over the course of 2020. With one fight already in the books – and a win for that fact, rumblings suggest opponents such as the aforementioned Masvidal and Diaz, or even Justin Gaethje may await the Crumlin native next. In an interview with MMA Fighting, Bisping told how he believes McGregor will clash with Nate Diaz in his next Octagon walk.
“I guarantee this is what happens with Conor (McGregor) next,” Bisping said. “He ain’t fighting Khabib (Nurmagomedov), because Khabib is fighting Tony (Ferguson) and then he’s got Ramadan, and Conor wants to fight again soon. He (Conor McGregor) was talking about Nate Diaz, and Nate Diaz III will do big business. Conor will smoke Nate Diaz, because Nate Diaz has always been an average fighter – he just built his f**king career on choking out Conor McGregor. The second fight he got beat, and not because of all his inactivity, Conor will smoke him. So in the meantime, we’ll get Conor (vs.) Diaz III and then he’ll fight Khabib later in the year. That’s my prediction.“
Stockton fan-favorite, Diaz, recently returned to the Octagon for the first time since his 2016 rematch with McGregor at UFC 202 – going on to hand former UFC and WEC lightweight best, Anthony Pettis a unanimous decision defeat. Diaz then headlined UFC 244 last November in a BMF championship clash with the previously noted Masvidal. Losing via a doctor’s stoppage ahead of the fourth round, Diaz has campaigned for a rematch with American Top Team’s Masvidal, to no avail.
Speaking with ESPN’s, Marc Raimondi, Diaz explained how he wasn’t necessarily surprised or impressed with McGregor’s victory over Cerrone at UFC 246.