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Conor McGregor accepts Nate Diaz’s challenge for UFC comeback fight

A potential trilogy between Nate Diaz and former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor could be in the offing, but Khamzat Chimaev appears an alternative opponent for either fighter

Conor McGregor: Who will he fight next?

UFC superstar Conor McGregor has accepted Nate Diaz ‘s challenge for a return to the promotion, but it doesn’t involve the trilogy bout mixed martial arts fans have been yearning for.

Instead, McGregor appeared open to facing welterweight title challenger-in-the-making Khamzat Chimaev, who has won four from four in the UFC and finished his last three opponents in less than four minutes.

‘The Notorious’ is on the comeback trail after fracturing his leg in a second straight defeat by Dustin Poirier back in July – his third stumble in four outings and the first time he’s suffered back-to-back losses.

Diaz tweeted an image quoting UFC president Dana White, who recently appeared on The Jim Rome Podcast and said McGregor was “chomping (sic) at the bit” to stage his latest comeback.

But rather than give fans the trilogy fight they’ve been waiting for, Diaz suggested his long-time rival uses Chimaev as a tune-up opponent following his lengthy absence from the cage.

“Let him fight kamrat (sic) that be a great fight to make,” wrote the Stockton native. “He needs a easy new guy to fight anyway he can taper back in and see if he can even still fight at all.”

Diaz then patted himself on the back for such an inspired matchmaking idea, posting the applause emoji as he signed off: “Great idea Nate. Thanks.”

McGregor replied simply “No problem, b***h,” but the fact his tweet has since been deleted hints he perhaps doesn’t want to lock himself into a date opposite ‘Borz’.

Do you think Conor McGregor would defeat Khamzat Chimaev at welterweight? Let us know in the comments section.

Conor McGregor suffered his first UFC loss against Nate Diaz in 2016 before avenging the result later that year
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It’s possible the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion may be forced into a future at welterweight and above after bulking up to 190 pounds during his recovery.

Chimaev, 27, could be considered the Dubliner’s worst possible matchup for a comeback bout, offering maximum threat without much for the veteran to gain even if he wins.

The fighter out of Sweden is younger, hungrier and has shown the potential to beat ‘The Notorious’ in all areas, having finished each of his opponents en route to amassing a 10-0 professional record.

It’s little wonder Diaz also doesn’t want to stake the last fight of his UFC deal against the fastest-rising force in mixed martial arts, with ‘Borz’ yet to reach the seven-minute mark in any of his fixtures to date.

Khamzat Chimaev has won UFC fights at welterweight and middleweight
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Zuffa LLC)

But the same can’t be said for Chimaev, who responded directly to Diaz’s tweet by inferring White wants him to dispatch the MMA veteran as he winds to the end of his career.

“You know that you have the last chance to stay in UFC, but @danawhite wants me to smash you, and you know that I will do so run skinny boy,” replied the Stockholm-based star.

Diaz, 36, has been vocal in his desire to face a higher-ranked opponent than Chimaev in the final fight of his contract and said he felt disrespected by an approach to take on the lightweight division’s No. 11.

“They’re coming at me with [Chimaev], and I’m like, ‘Hold on, don’t disrespect me like that, trying to offer me a fight with a rookie,” he told TMZ.

“I’m cool, you got four fights in the UFC. Don’t even talk my name. There’s levels to this. Hey Khamzat, if you in there, don’t be a b***h, my boy’s [Nick Maximov] right here, fight him.

“Anybody in the higher level even playing along to this Khamzat s**t, you’re a b***h, too, taking that s**t. You’re a new rookie – deal with new people.”

Conor McGregor has been sharing pictures of his bulked-up frame on social media
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Image:

Irish Mirror)

While it’s true Chimaev has looked near unstoppable thus far in his UFC career, it’s worth highlighting he’s yet to face an opponent of real class, with Li Jingliang and Gerald Meerschaert his toughest tests to date.

That being said, the fact he’s also finished every opponent put in front of him adds more intrigue in regards to discovering the Chechnya native’s upper limits.

One can understand why UFC figurehead White has said nobody wants to stand opposite Chimaev, who broke the record for shortest gap between UFC victories earlier this year (10 days).

McGregor has fought just three times in the past three years, and his freak leg break against Poirier served as a reminder the 33-year-old may not have many bouts left in his career.

Despite a short-lived statement that he’s willing to stage his comeback against Chimaev, White will require more than a tweet to rubber-stamp one of the biggest bouts the UFC could make at present.

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