UFC President Dana White is adamant that the door is closed on Conor McGregor competing at UFC 200, and if that is the case, then Nate Diaz might be off the highly-anticipated fight card, as well.
“I came to fight Conor McGregor, and I don’t really have too much interest in anybody else,” Diaz said at a press conference on Friday promoting UFC 200. “I don’t have any interest in fighting at all, but if that’s what we’re gonna do I thought we were gonna do it.”
McGregor was removed from the UFC 200 headliner for failing to fulfill promotional obligations for the event. As a result, the UFC revealed that a replacement opponent would be sought for Diaz. Meanwhile, the featherweight champion issued a statement via Facebook on Thursday stating that he would be willing to stay on the card if he only had to attend the New York portion of the three-city press tour. That apparently wasn’t nearly enough.
Media members peppered White with questions about any lingering possibility of McGregor fighting at UFC 200, but the UFC boss said the decision was final. Of all the main announced components of the promotion’s bicentennial event, only McGregor was absent on Friday.
“I just don’t see how that’s fair. [Diaz] came in from Stockton days ago. The list goes on and on where these people have come from all over the world,” White said. “The fight’s still three months away, that’s why we do it this early so we try not to interfere with their lives and everything else.
“Yeah [he’s out].”
While Diaz didn’t seem to care if McGregor handled his media work or not, he also didn’t seem too interested in fighting at different opponent at UFC 200. Diaz defeated McGregor via second-round submission in their first meeting at UFC 196, an event that reportedly did 1.5 million pay-per-view buys.
“I didn’t ask for that fight, but he asked for it and he wanted it. If that ain’t gonna happen I’m going on vacation,“ Diaz said.
White confirmed that the UFC has not found a new foe for Diaz, and the Stockton, Calif., native said he hasn’t taken part in the filming of any commercials for the event. White said he wanted to allow Diaz to remain on the biggest card of 2016 even if McGregor wasn’t going to be around. However, one of the title fights, not Diaz vs. TBA, would be the UFC 200 main event if that happened.
“We’ll figure it out. The thing is I didn’t want to screw him out of UFC 200,” White said. “If he wanted to be part of this thing and wanted to fight, I wanted to give him the opportunity.”
At least for now, Diaz seems to have declined that opportunity the only way he knows how.
“He wanted the fight. I didn’t even ask for the fight. It was gonna be a big deal. If I’m gonna fight, it’s gonna be a big deal. I’ve been fighting everybody all the time for nothing anyway,” Diaz said. “I want big fights. If it’s gonna happen, let’s do it. If not, I’m not doing s--t.”