When Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz first met at UFC 196, the 170 lbs. catchweight was only a matter of circumstance, not planning.
McGregor had in fact been training to fight at a weight class below, 155 lbs., preparing to challenge the then lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. When Dos Anjos was injured just weeks before the fight however, Nate Diaz was called in as a last-minute replacement. Due to the short amount of time Diaz would have had to train and cut weight, it was decided that the bout would be contested at 170 lbs. instead.
Most fighters would have balked at this, but the ever-confident McGregor welcomed the challenge, despite having spent his entire UFC career at 145. For his part, Diaz was not exactly a welterweight either. The McGregor fight was Diaz's first at 170 lbs. since 2010.
The fact that neither of them belong in that weight class makes the decision to contest their rematch at 170 lbs. again very perplexing. By all accounts, this was McGregor's choice though (and according to some, his demand).
He explained the decision to reporters at a UFC media event earlier today.
"He's more than a welterweight now, he's about 200 lbs., he's been enjoying himself," McGregor told reporters. "But I couldn't make it at any other weight except the weight I was defeated at ... I feel it would have defeated the purpose of what this is about."
McGregor added that he isn't shaken by the loss, and felt that he was winning the fight up until things went wrong in the second round.
"I feel I was completely in control of the contest. I was slapping the head off of him, let's be real here," he said. "So that's it, I just wanted to keep it as is. Have my preparation, my training camp for that frame, for that larger man ... I wanted no changes."