UFC fighter Nick Diaz has ignited talk of a possible clash with Conor McGregor after saying he'd "whup" the Dubliner, despite having had one professional fight in the past six-and-a-half years.
Diaz—whose younger brother, Nate, beat McGregor before losing a rematch—recently spoke to TMZ alongside Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace AJ Agazarm, saying he'd "whup his ass" when the prospect of a fight arose:
Diaz, 36, last fought in January 2015 and returned to eligibility for the UFC in April 2018 after serving a one-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for missing three out-of-competition drug tests in 12 months.
Younger sibling Nate, 34, recently returned to the Octagon following a three-year absence, beating Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision at UFC 241 in his welterweight comeback on Saturday.
McGregor, 31, took to Instagram and congratulated his two-time opponent on the anniversary of his victory against Diaz (Aug. 20). He suggested he's open to completing their trilogy after writing he'd "be prepared for it when we go again. If we go again."
The former UFC dual-lightweight and featherweight champion was recently back in media headlines for the wrong reasons.
Video emerged of McGregor punching an elderly-looking man in the head in Dublin's Marble Arch pub on April 6. Colin Brennan and Ciara Phelan of the Irish Mirror reported the victim turned down a shot of McGregor's Proper No. 12 whiskey, telling him he didn't "want to drink that s--t."
TMZ posted footage of the incident:
Tariq Panja of the New York Times reported in March McGregor is also the subject of sexual assault investigation in Dublin. A woman told police McGregor sexually assaulted her at a Dublin hotel in December.
Agazarm, 29, gained renown in grappling and BJJ circles but now holds a 1-1 record in mixed martial arts after debuting in January 2019.
He criticised McGregor for the punch incident and hinted he'd also be open to a bout: "I can't believe he hit that old man! That was crazy! Who would do that? If he's gonna hit an old man, I'll hit him."
Diaz (26-9-2) is without a win in his last three fights. He initially lost to Anderson Silva in January 2015 via unanimous decision; however, the fight was later ruled a no-contestdue to Silva testing positive for anabolic steroids, while Diaz tested positive for marijuana.
Prior to that, the Stockton, California, native suffered defeats to Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit in March 2013 and February 2012, respectively.
McGregor sparked talk of a fight with actor Mark Wahlberg in April, for which Diaz called him a "piece of s--t" for wanting to fight someone who is not a professional, via Instagram (h/t Bloody Elbow's Anton Tabuena).
A fixture opposite the older Diaz brother would surely move the needle in terms of attracting fans and pay-per-view interest, though McGregor may want to settle his beef with Nate first and foremost.