Warning: Some language in this article is NSFW
Nate Diaz has called out Khabib Nurmagomedov and said the UFC lightweight champion is hiding from the Stockton, California, native because he "slapped the s--t out of him."
The 33-year-old hasn't fought since he lost to Conor McGregor via majority decision at UFC 202 in August 2016. Diaz took to Instagram on Monday and posted a montage video with a caption suggesting he has his eyes on the lightweight belt and reiterated his belief that he beat McGregor in their rematch.
The caption read: "Kabibs (sic) hiding scared cause I slapped the s--t out of him. Conor already got his ass beat twice. Where the f--k you at kabib?"
McGregor got his revenge over Diaz after suffering the first defeat of his UFC career at UFC 196 earlier in 2016 when the Californian made The Notorious tap in the second round, via BT Sport (UK only):
There has been a widespread clamour to see the pair meet in a trilogy bout, and TMZ included quotes from McGregor, who recently said in Chicago that a third bout "will happen."
Except Diaz's attention appears to have moved on to Nurmagomedov, who defeated McGregor via a fourth-round submission at the climax of a fairly one-sided duel at UFC 229 in October 2018:
UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier looked set to face the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt at UFC 230 in November but pulled out and is seemingly no longer on Diaz's radar.
The mixed martial arts veteran has escalated his taunting of The Eagle in recent days:
It was more than a year ago that Diaz referred to slapping Nurmagomedov in front of his Russian friends but said they "didn't do s--t."
The UFC lightweight titleholder might react differently as champion of his division. Nurmagomedov was suspended for nine months for his part in the post-match brawl that occurred at UFC 229, during which he jumped the fence to fight McGregor's training partner, Dillon Danis.
Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting reported the Dagestan native will be eligible to fight again on April 6.
Diaz may have lost stock in the two-and-a-half years that have passed since his last fight, but the veteran has been stubborn in not settling for fights he doesn't want:
McGregor's return to the Octagon opens up the possibility of his trilogy clash with Diaz materialising, but the American fighter's focus has moved to the titleholder and could delay hopes for a third showdown.