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29th Aug 2017

Chael Sonnen claims to have inside information about who’s next for Conor McGregor and when it will go down

Will be a popular choice

Darragh Murphy

Conor McGregor will reportedly fight once more before the year is out.

That’s according to outspoken former UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen whose comments, as always, should be taken with a grain of salt.

Sonnen is liable to say just about anything to make headlines but, to be fair, he has been correct in the past and he does have sources in the UFC who he often quotes to great success.

Sonnen covered Conor McGregor’s lucrative boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather for ESPN on Saturday night and he claims to have inside information on who will be next in line for the UFC lightweight champion, who was stopped by the now 50-0 great in the 10th round in Las Vegas.

“I do think Nate Diaz is going to be next. I’ve got a little inside information,” Sonnen said on the MMA Hour.

“I think that’s going to go down in late December but what I respect about Conor – and he actually brought this up with you when you guys did the one man show – he said: ‘We’ve got one a piece so we have to go for the third [fight].’ Well, that’s a guy who respects the history of the sport and as much as he’s paving his own path, he respects the tradition.

“And he’s right. When you’re one a piece, you go to the third. That’s what the sport says, that’s what history says and it’s the right thing to do. I think he’s going to do it.”

McGregor has not shied away from the prospect of the realisation of a trilogy with Diaz, the man who handed him his first defeat inside the Octagon, and the Irishman’s manager has insisted that he is eager to fight his Stockton rival a third time.

“He wants that trilogy (with Diaz),” Audie Attar told MMAjunkie. “You’ve got Khabib calling him out, then you obviously have Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee who are fighting for the interim lightweight title. You have Max Holloway, who is the 145 champ now, who Conor beat after blowing out his ACL at the beginning of the fight. You have options, and he loves mixed martial arts.

“Everyone is like, ‘Oh, he’s going to retire – he made so much money.’ He’s ambitious. He’s super ambitious, and he loves to fight. He loves to compete and he’s a superb professional athlete. So there’s much more of Conor McGregor that everybody will see, and we’ll see what’s next.”

Diaz was in attendance for Saturday night’s event and, after spending some time in Mayweather’s dressing room, he got into a heated exchange with former UFC heavyweight and current analyst, Brendan Schaub.

Following a disagreement about how McGregor fared against ‘Money’, Diaz and Schaub shared some choice words.

“This is what triggered him,” Schaub explained on The Joe Rogan Experience. “He was talking and I literally couldn’t hear him because people were like, ‘Schaub, let’s go,’ because they didn’t want a fight. I’m like, ‘Nate, use your words! I can’t understand a word you’re saying. Use your words!’ He has that lisp or whatever and that probably set him off.”