Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre claim Conor McGregor should face Nate Diaz when he returns from injury, rather than pursue a fourth fight with Dustin Poirier.
The Irishman was beaten twice by ‘The Diamond’ in 2021, fracturing his leg in two places when they met at UFC 264 in July.
Despite not being able to fight again this year, McGregor has returned to training way ahead of schedule thanks to the help of his McGregor FAST team.
However, the 33-year-old was on the wrong side of a 10-8 round in Las Vegas when he fought Poirier in their ill-tempered rematch and referee Herb Dean was monitoring the action extremely closely in case a stoppage was required.
Given how McGregor was beaten soundly on Fight Island in January by Poirier and has won just one fight since 2016, former middleweight champion Bisping believes a third fight against Diaz makes much more sense.
“Hopefully, we see that fight,” ‘The Count’ told the ‘Believe You Me‘ Podcast.
“I’m not sure if he wants to come back, Conor I’m talking about, after what’s probably going to be about a year’s lay-off and fighting Dustin for the third time.
“You kind of want to get your whistle wet. Find your mojo, blow off that ring rust.
“Nate would be the guy. Then, if Conor beats Nate, then he fights Dustin, because, you know, they are going to do a fourth fight.
“The fourth fight will be absolutely massive, but I think if I was Conor’s manager, if I was advising him, I would say ‘take a tune-up fight’, you know what I mean?”
Diaz shocked the world when he submitted McGregor at UFC 196, only for the scores to be levelled just five months’ later at UFC 202 when McGregor claimed a decision win.
The 33-year-old has always welcomed the trilogy fight and fellow former two-weight world champion GSP believes Diaz makes more sense as Poirier ‘has his number’.
The Canadian told MMA Fighting: “If he comes back, if I’m his manager, I don’t want my client to come back to fight the same guy again for the fourth time.
“Because now it seems like Dustin has his number. He needs to perhaps take another fight.”
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“I think he should come back and maybe fight Nate Diaz or someone else that has a different style than Dustin Poirier.
“Because styles make fights and I have the feeling that now Dustin Poirier probably has his number right now.
“Conor’s been out for a long time. He needs to get back in there to spend more time in the Octagon, in order to find his own self, the way he moves, and his ability.
“It seems like he might have lost some of his ability, due to his inactivity.”