Conor McGregor
via Instagram / Conor McGregor

Nate Diaz has begun the trash talk, criticizing Conor McGregor’s performance against Floyd Mayweather recently. Now, it appears Conor’s camp wants a Diaz fight too.

The UFC star’s longtime head coach, John Kavanagh, recently said a third fight against Diaz is what they want for his next fight… but said it will likely have to wait until 2018.

In a recent column for Irish publication, Kavanagh said the Diaz trilogy fight is the most exciting option for McGregor. “It’s probably a little late in the day to realistically expect another fight before the end of the year,” he wrote. “Even after this hiatus is over, a lot goes into planning and execution of a training camp at our level… I find it hard to envisage another fight in 2017.”

Before McGregor fought Mayweather on August 26th, which he lost via a 10th round TKO, UFC president Dana White said McGregor was planning to fight again this year. Currently, the UFC has a December 30 date in Las Vegas, which many believe will mark McGregor’s return to the Octagon.

He’s currently the UFC lightweight champion, a title he won last November, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.

As for Diaz, McGregor has said he wants their third fight to take place at 155 pounds, after their first two meetings were at 170 pounds. Diaz has not fought since McGregor took a majority decision in their rematch in August 2016.

While Diaz is the likely the biggest money-maker for the UFC, fans and MMA experts believe other fighters are more deserving of a shot. Specifically, the winner of the upcoming interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson (22-3) and Kevin Lee (16-2) at UFC 216 on October 7.

“To be completely honest, I didn’t actually know who Kevin was until very recently,” Kavanagh said of the Lee-Ferguson bout. “Tony is a solid fighter, but he doesn’t have the kind of appeal that would get your blood racing, particularly in the context of coming from the excitement of the Nate Diaz rematch, the historical significance of beating Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden and the novelty of facing the greatest boxer of his generation.”

“This is all accompanied by the caveat that it’s merely the opinion of John Kavanagh, but I’m sure people will be able to relate to my perspective on the situation.”