After finishing Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds this past weekend, McGregor stopped short of calling anybody’s name in particular and instead stated that any of these “mouthy fools” could get it.
Despite those options, Bisping sees an alternative as the most likely scenario, especially given McGregor’s star power and adoration for massive paydays.
“I mean listen, [the fight with Jorge Masvidal] would do great business, but here’s my prediction,” Bisping said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I guarantee this is what happens with Conor next. He ain’t fighting Khabib, because Khabib’s fighting Tony [Ferguson] and then he’s got Ramadan, and Conor wants to fight again soon.
“He was talking about Nate Diaz, and Nate Diaz 3 will do big business. Conor will smoke Nate Diaz, because Nate Diaz has always been an average fighter; he just built his f*cking career on choking out Conor McGregor. The second fight he got beat, and now because of all his inactivity, Conor will smoke him. So in the meantime, we’ll get Conor-Diaz 3 and then he’ll fight Khabib later in the year. That’s my prediction.”
McGregor often talks about settling the score with Diaz after they split their first two fights in 2016. Diaz won the first fight at UFC 196 by choking out McGregor in the second round. The Irishman got his revenge five months later with a majority decision over Diaz at UFC 202.
McGregor went onto become a two-division UFC champion and then crossed over to boxing to face Floyd Mayweather. He then returned to MMA and fell to Nurmagomedov in 2018 before getting back in the win column with the TKO of Cerrone.
As for Diaz, he defeated former champion Anthony Pettis last year and then lost to Masvidal this past November when a series of cuts ended his night after a three-round battle.
McGregor has touted a future that could include a run at the welterweight title. But Bisping just doesn’t see that as a realistic option. The Irish star might feel healthier without cutting the extra weight to compete at 155 pounds, but Bisping sees him at a huge disadvantage when going up against legitimate welterweights like Masvidal, or reigning champion Kamaru Usman.
“I think [Masvidal is] a bad matchup for Conor,” Bisping said. “I think Kamaru is a bad matchup for Conor. He did great on the weekend and he beat Cerrone and he’ll beat Diaz, but they’re both 155’ers.
“Usman is a legit 170’er. He’s a big, strong dude that can take a shot, and he’s in his prime. It’s all well and good this narrative that he’s at 170. I don’t think anybody’s beating Usman any time soon, certainly not Conor.”