NATE DIAZ says he is ready and willing to take on Conor McGregor for a third time but that, ultimately, the decision will rest with the UFC.
The 34-year-old was speaking after his victory against Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 on Saturday where he marked his return to action for the first time in three years.
When could McGregor meet Diaz?
The American fought McGregor – who allegedly punched a man in a bar last week – twice in 2016, with the pair tied at one win apiece, and now he says that he is ready to go back into the ring for a deciding bout.
On the possibility of taking on the Irishman, Diaz said: "If that's something that works into the schedule.
"I’m going to fight the baddest dudes, the biggest baddest shows that people want to see. That's what I want to see, that's what I want to do. It’s up to everybody who is involved in that. If they want it, they’re going to call me and tell me they want it.
"You’ve got to recognize who is the best and who the best in the game is…and it’s not who they’re saying it is…it’s who I’m saying it is. It’s the guys that have been in here forever and who are still on top of the game."
Diaz returned from a prolonged lay-off to put in a sensational performance against Pettis and earn victory through a unanimous decision, and afterwards called out Jorge Masvidal as a possible opponent.
"Pettis just knocked out [Stephen] Thompson, who was just fighting for the 170 title a whole bunch of times," he said.
"He fought Pettis and Pettis knocked his ass out real quick. Who’s the real baddest in the 170 division?
"They were trying to pump up dude [Ben Askren] and then Masvidal goes in there and knocks his ass out. I started fighting in 2004 I think and then he’s been around since then and maybe a little longer.
"He just did that and I just did that, so that’s the best fighter to me; the best martial artist that’s still on top of the game."
Diaz insisted that he would fight the 34-year-old American Masvidal for a self-anointed belt he dubbed the "baddest motherf*cker in the game."
The American MMA star is more interested in relishing the challenge of being back in the UFC after such a long time.
He said: "I don't think they know how to do it. I don't think anybody knows how to do it, and everybody's beginners, scared or something."
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