UFC President revealed on ESPN last night that they attempted to convince Conor McGregor not to take an immediate rematch with Nate Diaz at 170lbs, but the featherweight champion insisted.
“After the fight, Lorenzo (Fertitta) and I went up to Conor’s house that he’s renting here in Las Vegas and started talking about what are you thinking, what’s next?,” White said on ‘Sportscenter’ last night. “And he was obsessed – obsessed – with fighting Nate Diaz again. Obviously, Lorenzo and I tried to argue with him and say, ‘Let’s go back down to ’45 and defend your title, or if you really want the Diaz fight that bad, do it at ’55.’ But he wants to fight at 170. Even his coach, (John) Kavanagh, tried to get him to get off this rematch and off the 170-pound fight, but it’s what he wanted. And he’s going to get it.”
McGregor Vs Diaz II was officially announced yesterday as the headline attraction for the UFC 200 event on July 9th, coming just a few weeks after ‘The Notorious’ was tapped out by a second round rear-naked choke against the Stockton native, handing him his first loss in the UFC.
Given their reservations about the fight, and fans interest in seeing him defend his featherweight belt, it’s perhaps a little surprising that the UFC decided to grant him his wish, but White says that the star has earned the right to do so.
“Conor McGregor is a guy who has had fights fall out seven days before he’s supposed to defend his title, and he steps up and takes on all comers,” White stated. “The guy fights anybody, anywhere, any time. He’s stepped up on late notice and done these things. He wants this Nate Diaz fight, we’ll give it to him.”
However, the promotion have made moves to ensure that the featherweight division will keep on track in the mean time, with an interim title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar also announced for the UFC 200 main card.
“We’ll make Frankie and Jose the interim title, and whoever wins that fight will fight Conor McGregor for the 145-pound title. Win, lose or draw in this fight against Nate Diaz, he will go in and fight either Jose or Frankie – whoever wins at (UFC) 200.”