Following the recent incident with “The Eagle,” Chael Sonnen believes Nate Diaz may be next on Conor McGregor’s UFC hit list.
With Conor McGregor on hiatus for the incipient birth of his child, the lightweight division has been hungry for an interim champion. UFC 209 was set to see top lightweight contenders Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson throw down for the interim lightweight title. After being rushed to the hospital for weight management issues, “The Eagle” was pulled from the fight, cancelling the night’s main event.
With the bout left undecided, MMA analyst and competitor Chael Sonnen believes the next viable opponent for the current lightweight champion is Nate Diaz.
In an interview with ESPN, as transcribed by Bloody Elbow, Sonnen explained that he believes that Khabib was set to be a major star for UFC’s potential Russian broadcasting deal. After UFC 209, that was all thrown into question.
“This caused Khabib Nurmagomedov long term effects. I’ll tell you the politics here. Dana White comes back from Russia, announces that he has a new TV deal. 48 hours later, he announces that the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson will be taking on Conor McGregor.
“You don’t need to put on your Colombo rain jacket to realize, Conor McGregor vs the favorite, Khabib Nurmagomedov was going to happen on the debut of the Russian TV deal. It is likely gone!And I believe it goes to Nate Diaz.”
Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor of course have a history. The two have fought twice inside the octagon, with Diaz gaining a submission victory at UFC 196 and McGregor gaining a majority decision victory at UFC 202.