It was announced last night that Conor McGregor would fight Nate Diaz in a welterweight rematch at UFC 200. It seems though, that McGregor was the only one that wanted that fight.
According to UFC President, Dana White, he... along with UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and McGregor's coach, John Kavanagh, tried to talk the Irishman out of the rematch. McGregor was the only one who wanted the fight, and additionally, was the only one who wanted it at 170 pounds.
Everyone else wanted McGregor to go back down and defend his 145 pound featherweight title, or at the very least, take on Diaz at lightweight. McGregor's mind was set however, and there was no talking him out of it. In the end, McGregor got his wish... even at the weight he wanted.
McGregor lost to Diaz by submitting to him in the second round of their UFC 196 fight. After his loss, White and Fertitta sat down with McGregor to talk about what was next for him.
White told ESPN's Sportscenter:
“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? 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.
White had more to say about McGregor's decision:
“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. The guy fights anybody, anywhere, any time. He’s stepped up on late notice and done these things. He wants this Nate Diaz, we'll give it to him."
White, Fertitta and Kavanaugh weren't the only ones that wanted McGregor to drop back down to defend his featherweight title. The fans wanted McGregor to defend his title as did the two men that were promised a shot at said title: Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, who now have to battle it out for a temporary title until McGregor drops back down to the featherweight division.
Luckily, the winner of Aldo-Edgar II won't have to wait long for a chance to determine who the REAL champion of the featherweight division is. According to White, no matter what the outcome of the Diaz-McGregor rematch is, McGregor will return to featherweight for a title unification bout.
“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.”