According to UFC President Dana White, he, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and even McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, all tried to talk “The Notorious” one out of demanding a rematch with Diaz at welterweight. In the end, the McGregor got his wish, as he will get a return date against Diaz in the UFC 200 main event on July 9 in Las Vegas. The Dublin native was submitted by Diaz 4:12 into the second round of their first meeting at UFC 196 on March 5.
“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.”
With McGregor unable to defend the featherweight belt he won at UFC 194 in December, an interim title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar was also booked for UFC 200. White says forcing McGregor to vacate the 145-pound championship was never an option.
“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.”
For the time being, then, it appears that McGregor will eventually return to featherweight, although making 145 pounds has a visibly draining effect on the SBG Ireland representative.
“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.