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Nate Diaz: UFC wanted to keep me out of MSG for Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez

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Nate Diaz thinks the UFC didn't want him or his brother Nick at UFC 205 on Saturday.

Diaz, Conor McGregor's greatest rival, told ESPN in a video published Tuesday night that he believes the promotion intentionally tried to keep the two of them out of Madison Square Garden for the UFC's first card in New York City.

In Diaz's estimation, the UFC didn't want him stealing any shine from McGregor, who beat lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the main event to become the first UFC fighter to ever win titles in two different weight classes. Diaz and McGregor fought twice this year and are 1-1 against one another. A third fight has been brought up by both men, but UFC president Dana White has said it won't happen, because it doesn't make sense.

"The UFC knows that's a bad idea for him," Diaz told ESPN's Brett Okamoto. "Why didn't I get tickets to this fight? I said, 'I'll leave him alone. I don't want to fight the guy. Just let me get a seat.' Me and my brother, they didn't want to let either one of us in here.

"They want to hide me out, I think. Put him on more of a pedestal than they have already. It's whatever though."

Of course, the Diaz brothers did make it in the door, sitting in a club box. Diaz said he texted White for tickets, but was told there was no room.

"As soon as [McGregor wins], hundreds of people are turning around and staring at me," Diaz said. "I'm like, 'Hey, what do you want me to do? The UFC didn't even want to give me tickets to this fight. I think they gave Nick Jonas my seat."

Diaz beat McGregor in their first meeting at UFC 196 in March by second-round submission. McGregor got revenge at UFC 202 in August, winning by majority decision. The latter sold the the most pay-per-views in promotion history, upwards of 1.6 million. McGregor brought up a trilogy in the cage that night, saying it would be at 155 pounds. The first two fights were contested at 170, not a natural weight class for either man.

Now, McGregor is the 155-pound champion and third fight with Diaz — for the title — could be on the table. McGregor's coach John Kavanagh told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that McGregor vs. Diaz 3 would be the fight that most excites him next and he feels like Diaz is the second best lightweight in the world.

The rankings don't necessarily bare that out. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson can both make claims for the No. 1 contender spot. Diaz is a harder sell in sporting terms; when it comes to finances, though, Diaz is by far a bigger draw than the other 155-pound contenders.

"People question me, 'Hey, when you gonna fight No. 3?'" Diaz said. "I know that everybody needs to see that. If I'm gonna do something, that's what I'm gonna do -- but I'm not begging for it. If anybody should be asking for the fight, it should be him. He's the one that has something to prove.

"Congratulations to Conor. He did a great job, got the two belts -- but I just know that me and him both know what happened in [our] fights and that 'greatest of all time' stuff [to stop]. I don't remember any of the greatest of all times getting worked over like [he was] in the last two fights."

Regardless of how McGregor looked against Alvarez — and he was dominant — Diaz said he'd be confident if a third fight did materialize. Diaz said he felt like McGregor holding two belts was "handed over" and felt artificial.

Despite that, Diaz didn't feel like ripping into his rival too much.

"I don't want to even do interviews or be a part of any of this bashing the guy, because everybody can't do nothing but hating on the guy for dong this thing, doing his belt thing," Diaz said. "If they gave me all that attention and all these opportunities and I would take them, too. So, it's all good."