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With no Conor McGregor fight in sight, Nate Diaz aims for Eddie Alvarez

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Nate Diaz stole the show at UFC on FOX 17 on Dec. 19 in Orlando with a profane callout of UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor.

While that made for tons of great copy for websites everywhere, it didn't land the mercurial lightweight contender his big-money fight, as McGregor will instead fight lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 197.

So, not wanting to wait around for a fight which might never come, the pride of Stockton has set his sights on a consequential opponent near the top of the lightweight pack: Former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez.

Sources close to the fighter tell MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani that Eddie Alvarez is the opponent Diaz wants to face next, Helwani reported on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight.

Alvarez (27-4) is the winner of five out of his last six fights. That includes, in his last two fights, victories over Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez. While the grinding fights might not have been the barnburners fans expected, they still earned Alvarez wins over opponents who had held the UFC, Strikeforce, and WEC belts.

Diaz (18-10), meanwhile, ended a long absence at UFC on FOX 17, where he badly outclassed Michael Johnson for a unanimous decision victory. That gave Diaz two wins in his past three fights.

There have been no formal talks yet for the potential bout.