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Nate Diaz Coach Says Fighter Wants $20M-$30M to Fight Conor McGregor

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 31, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20:   (R-L) Nate Diaz punches Conor McGregor of Ireland in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Nate Diaz wants to earn "at least $20 million, $30 million" if he's to return to the Octagon for the third segment of his trilogy against UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, according to his boxing coach.

Richard Perez appeared on the MMA podcast Submission Radio (h/t TMZ Sports) and suggested Diaz will be seeking a much bigger cut in order to lace up against The Notorious for a third time:

"At least $20 million, $30 million. Come on. UFC’s making a whole lot of money.

"They’re giving more to McGregor, so it’s not fair because it takes two in that ring to draw a crowd."

Following a 10th-round TKO defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in McGregor's professional boxing debut on Saturday, attention will naturally turn to what's next for him, and a UFC comeback appears the most likely route.

Furthermore, MMAFighting.com reporter Ariel Helwani suggested after McGregor's loss to Mayweather that Diaz currently stands as the favourite to hand the Irishman his return to the UFC:

Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

So would I. They are both Michigan, but alas, they had nothing else. Diaz currently the front-runner for CM but there's a long way to go. https://t.co/4pLZxJC1MV

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November will mark the one-year anniversary of McGregor's knockout of former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to become the promotion's first dual-weight titleholder, but he's yet to defend his belt since.

A lightweight title defence makes sense. After fighting at the welterweight limit of 170 pounds in each of his first two fights against Diaz, McGregor told BBC News (h/t MMAFighting.com) a third meeting will have to take place at 155 pounds, where he currently reigns:

"I'm the 155-pound champion, I faced him at 170, he beat me, then I rematched him at 170, I beat him. Now I'm the 155-pound world champion. If he wants that fight, he must come down. That's a fair trade. I didn't ask for the rematch at a lower weight, I asked for the rematch at the exact same weight. I thought that was a fair play move on my half and then I came in and I won. So now I won that, then I won the 155-pound title after that. If he wants to fight, he's got to make that 155-pound limit."

That means not only would Diaz and McGregor likely fight for big bucks should they meet for the final segment of their trilogy, but there could also be a belt on the line for both fighters.

MMA Junkie's John Morgan recently hinted this could make the matchup opportunity too good to turn down:

John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn

@Jartoff3 @TheMondayKid Well, I mean Ferguson-Lee winner what really makes “sense,” but Diaz III for the belt makes dollars, so that’s why I assume it happens.

The Daily Star's Chisanga Malata reported McGregor raked in a purse of $30 million (£23 million) for his loss to Mayweather, a lot more than he makes fighting in the UFC but the kind of earnings he'll be determined to maintain in future fights.

Diaz's trainer, Perez, clearly senses the opportunity ahead of his fighter, and Diaz's MMA absence since losing to McGregor in August 2016 may suggest he's holding out for the payday chance of his career.

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