At least three different UFC on FOX fighters had Conor McGregor's name in their mouth after winning, Saturday. This included top featherweight contender Charles Oliveira, and lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos.
Nate Diaz is the only one to claim that UFC matchmaker and vice president Joe Silva promised him the bout with "Notorious," however. "Oh, he said, 'it's on.' He said, 'we're going to do this,'" Diaz told Ariel Helwani (in the wonderfully NSFW video, below), after Saturday's post-event press conference.
"Hell yeah [UFC brass] want it. Everybody wants that fight. ... If people want to see a real fight, they know who to call."
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Diaz gave the world a real fight in beating Michael Johnson in a three-round striking war. After winning the featherweight world title earlier this month, Conor McGregor's team said he plans to fight for the lightweight title in the spring before defending his 145-pound title in July at UFC 200.
Rafael Dos Anjos remained the lightweight title-holder after stopping Donald Cerrone, Saturday, and afterwards welcomed a fight with McGregor, either in his own native Brazil or in McGregor's home of Ireland. As eager as Dos Anjos is to get his hands on the new, trash-talking featherweight champ, Diaz made the most ardent and uniquely convincing argument for his being the next winner of the McGregor lottery.
After a long career, Diaz only wants big fights. The trash talk before, during, and after a McGregor vs. Diaz fight may be the most entertaining in the sport's history.
And, judging by the television ratings Diaz has garnered in the past, in combination with the pay-per-view numbers the Irishman has pulled, this matchup would attract scores of viewers. More than anything, Diaz promised a "real" fight, against McGregor.
"This is ninja real sh-t. Not no fake, 'Let's fight. This will be good for the sport.' F--k that. F--k the sport. This is fight sh-t," he said.
"This is ninja sh-t. That's what people want to see, that's what I want to see when I watch. So, let's see some real sh-t. You hear me. Let's get it."
Diaz and his brother Nick have always taken a great deal of pride in being long-time and disciplined martial artists. Lately, McGregor has gotten a lot of ink used on him talking about martial arts movement, and philosophy.
Indeed, McGregor may be something of a modern-day ninja. If that's the case, Nate wants to remind people that his ninja skills are still very much in place.
"I want a fight that's worth my while, worth his while. Let's get our fight on," he continued.
"I don't care if it's all good or not all good. When we fight, we're going to fight. Fight-fight. For real, fight. He thinks he's the ninja. I'm the ninja. Ninja Gaiden. American Ninja. Real motherfu-king ninja. This [is a] ninja martial artist right here. I started that sh-t. That sh-t came from Stockton, with us - me and my team."
Accordingly, Nate believes that the key to his beating McGregor would be simply, "training hard, and ninja-ing his ass up."
"That's the key to beating everybody," he concluded.
As for when Diaz said he'd want to fight, next, he struck the same chord Conor McGregor has been. "Tonight," he chuckled.
"I don't give a fu-k."
Well, it would now appear that we have two top fighters, each interested in fighting at lightweight, next, who would make a lot of money together. Moreover, one of them claims that the UFC's matchmaker has promised him the fight.
Who would be more eager to fight in crowd-pleasing styles against one another than McGregor and Diaz? For his part, Nate is simply promising a good scrap, refused to insult McGregor, but goaded him on from afar, to accept the fight.
He already has the event's tagline.
"American Ninja [vs.] Irish Ninja," he ended.
"Represent your sh-t, homeboy."
I want a fight that's worth my while, worth his while. Let's get out fight on. I don't care if it's all good or not all good. When we fight, we're going to fight. Fight-fight. For real, fight. He thinks he's the ninja, I'm the ninja. Ninja Gaiden. American Ninja. Real motherfu-king ninja. This [is a] ninja martial artist right here. I started that sh-t. That sh-t came from Stockton, with us - me and my team.