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23rd Dec 2016

Dana White speaks with unequivocal clarity on McGregor-Diaz trilogy

Makes a good point

Patrick McCarry

Dana White has seen what all-out war does to fighters.

The UFC president has often been asked what he would do when Fighter X or Fighter Y retires. Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre… Ronda Rousey.

The UFC has proved it can keep fans coming back despite some of its biggest names retiring or stepping back from competitive action.

Conor McGregor could be an altogether different beast.

‘The Notorious’ has headlined four of the promotion’s biggest six PPV cards of the past two years. He is, without doubt, the promotions biggest draw.

White is eager to get McGregor back in the Octagon as soon as possible but he is not too sure about him fighting above 155lbs ever again. Whether that is against welterweight champion Tyron Woodley or closing out a trilogy against Nate Diaz, White is wary.

In an interview on The Michael Kay Show, White expressed doubts about McGregor emptying his tank again any-time soon. Asked about a trilogy fight, White said:

“The problem with the rubber match is Diaz is a 170-pounder. He’s a massive guy.

“Conor is a very talented guy, he’s very, very good. Every time he goes out there he looks better … [However] we should have never done it in the first place. That’s what weight classes are for. They wanted to do it, we did it. They wanted to do it again, we did it again. They’re 1-1.”

UFC 202 Diaz McGregor

McGregor was the one that was insistent on fighting Diaz again at 170lbs. Despite the fact that Diaz is No.5 in the lightweight rankings, White does not seem to share the opinion of John Kavanagh that Diaz is the next best fight option for the champion. White explained:

“There’s only so many of those wars you can be in in your career. It takes a lot out of you. Some guys go into wars like that and they’re never the same after it.

“Look at Meldrick Taylor when he fought Julio Cesar Chavez. He was never the same after that fight. 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.

“I don’t want to do that to someone special like Conor McGregor. It’s just not right.”

There is no doubt that epic wars do take it out of fighters. Lawler got through bloody battles against MacDonald and Carlos Condit only to lose in lightning quick time against Woodley. MacDonald was a shadow of himself in his loss to Stephen Thompson.

White knows McGregor is a key asset and he wants him to stick it out at welterweight for a while yet.