Now that Conor McGregor’s first foray into boxing has concluded it appears that a trilogy bout with rival Nate Diaz in the UFC is the most attractive next option.
But McGregor, who reportedly will make in the neighborhood of $100 million for fighting Floyd Mayweather, isn’t the only party who will need to be adequately compensated. Diaz is likely to require a much larger paycheck than what he received for either of his first two bouts against the Irish superstar, according to boxing coach Richard Perez.
"At least $20 million, $30 million,” Perez told Submission Radio (transcription via MMAFighting.com). "Come on. UFC’s making a whole lot of money, a whole lot of money and they’re pocketing it. They’re giving more to McGregor, so it’s not fair because it takes two in that ring to draw a crowd – I mean, a good two fighters. It’s just like Mayweather when he fought Berto. It was not even sold out at all. It was embarrassing. It’s because that guy couldn’t draw a crowd. See, that’s what I’m saying, it’s the fighters that draw the crowd, and Nathan and McGregor, third one would be outstanding. Everyone knows that. So he needs to get paid at least $30 million easy.”
Diaz made a disclosed $500,000 for his second-round submission victory over McGregor at UFC 196 in March 2016 and another $2 million for a majority decision loss in their rematch at UFC 202 in August 2016. Both bouts were contested at 170 pounds. McGregor has already said that Diaz will need to make 155 pounds if they are to square off for a third time in the Octagon.
Perez points out that Diaz wasn’t at 100 percent heading into either of the first two meetings. If he is, McGregor could be in trouble the third time around.
"If Nathan goes through training camp with no injuries, McGregor’s not gonna have a chance. I’ll tell you that right now. If you watch some of the fights, like when Nathan fought 'Cowboy' Cerrone and some other guys, he was in tip-top shape, he wasn’t injured or anything, he went out there and did it, he boxed them. And when he’s in tip-top shape, he can box. I mean, they think McGregor can box, Nathan can box,” Perez said.
"Right now in the last two fights he fought him, the first time was 11-day notice, so it wasn’t enough time but it was enough time to get a win. Second time he got injured so he had to lay back, so it put him back as far as being in shape and being accurate in timing. And people were thinking, 'oh, he’s gonna come back and be better,' no, they don’t see the outcome of it, the true outcome of what happened. It’s like any fighter.”
The five-round rematch between Diaz and McGregor was one of the best matchups of 2016, and Perez expects a trilogy to be similarly entertaining.
“…So as far as McGregor coming out in the cage if he fights Nathan and Nathan gets in shape, it should be a good fight, a great fight, because Nathan can move and he’s got great footwork and he can throw a lot of combinations and make McGregor miss, counter off of it, use his reach.”