As things stand there’s a sense that Conor McGregor may opt for a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz in the UFC next time out, but if that is the case then the UFC will have to dig deep into their pockets.
That’s the opinion of Diaz’s long-time boxing coach Richard Perez, who gave an indication of the huge sums of money the Stockton star may end up demanding in order to agree to a third fight between the two.
“At least $20 million, $30 million,” Perez estimated in an interview with Submission Radio this week. “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.
“It should be big time pay. This third one should be big time. He should get way more. If he fights McGregor again, a lot more. They should be together, not just a big gap. Because you know it and I know it and everyone knows that would be a draw of a crowd. I mean, it would be outrageous because they’ve fought twice already and they need that third one and people will pay to see that. They will pay.”
Prior to his first fight with McGregor, Diaz only took home $40,000 for his victory over Michael Johnson in December of 2015.
However, he earned over ten times as much when he agreed to fight McGregor on short notice at UFC 196 the following year, banking $500,000 that night.
Diaz then played hardball prior to the rematch and scored another major jump in his pay packet, racking up an impressive $2 million basic salary at UFC 202 for a fight that would break the promotion’s own PPV record with 1.65 million buys.
It’s worth noting that McGregor trousered $3 million that night, but made far more in the end thanks to a cut of the pay-per-view revenue.
However, McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather raised his worth dramatically, with his guaranteed salary on Saturday night being $30 million in addition to his cut of the PPV, merchandise and sponsorship money.
The UFC is well aware that they’ll have to come up with a inticing offer to lure McGregor back into the Octagon next, but it remains to be seen if they’ll also be willing to give the same kind of treatment to Diaz, who hasn’t fought since losing out by majority decision to ‘The Notorious’ in their rematch last July.