Earlier today we confirmed that Conor McGregor had been locked in at UFC 200, to fight Nate Diaz in a welterweight re-match.
So why is a non-title fight between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz headlining the biggest pay per view card ever? Dana White says Conor was obsessed, despite everyone trying to talk him out of it.
“After the fight Lorenzo and I went up to Conor’s house that he was renting here in Las Vegas and starting talking about, ‘What are you thinking? What’s next?’ And he was obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again,” White said Wednesday on SportsCenter. “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. And he wants to fight at 170. Even his coach tried to get him off this rematch and off the 170-pound fight, but it’s what he wanted.”
The fight had been rumoured for several days now, however the other alternative was that Conor would have been forced to defend his featherweight title against Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar.
Both men had strong cases for the fight. Jose Aldo, 10 years undefeated, the only man to hold the UFC featherweight champion title, and former pound for pound fighter. Frankie Edgar on the other hand, had done everything he was asked to become a contender and his knockout of Chad Mendes last year supposedly made it official.
As it turns out, Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar will now face off at UFC 200 as well. Rather than strip McGregor of his featherweight title, they’ll fight for an interim belt.
“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 said. “The guy fights anybody, anywhere, anytime. He’s stepped up on late notice and done these things. He wants this Nate Diaz fight; we’ll give it to him. We’ll make Frankie and Jose the interim title. And whoever wins that fight will fight will then fight Conor McGregor for the true 145-pound title.” Dana said.
But this raises questions around McGregor’s future. Given that he is insisting to fight at welterweight again, where would he go next? Would he chase the welterweight title? Would he get a shot at the lightweight belt after Rafael dos Anjos pulled out from UFC 196?
Well Dana White confirmed that Conor McGregor will definitely be fighting the winner of the interim belt next.
“Win, lose or draw in this fight against Nate Diaz he will go in and he will fight either Jose or Frankie, whoever wins at 200,” White said.
See the full interview with Dana White here: