Nate Diaz Steps in to Face Conor McGregor at UFC 196

February 24, 2016
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Nate Diaz will take on featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 196 on March 5 in a welterweight bout.

McGregor was scheduled to take on lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in a quest to hold two UFC titles simultaneously, Conor-McGregor-Nate-Diaz-Mashupbut news broke on Tuesday that dos Anjos had suffered a broken foot in training and was forced out of the title fight.

“He will fight Nate Diaz. We figured this would be the most exciting fight. It’s the fight that Conor really wanted. A lot of people wanted to fight Conor McGregor, but Diaz wanted the fight and we felt this was the fight to make,” said UFC president Dana White during an appearance on Sports Center.

Following the news of dos Anjos’ injury, several fighters immediately offered to step up on short notice to take on McGregor, including Diaz, Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis and Urijah Faber. Ultimately, the fight promotion reached an agreement with Diaz.

RELATED > Conor McGregor Plans on ‘Winning All of the Belts’ Before UFC Exit

“There was a long list of people that said that they wanted to have the chance to fight Conor McGregor. We called Jose Aldo. Jose Aldo turned the fight down. We called Frankie Edgar. Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. Those are two guys that everybody was talking about,” said White.

“We called Cowboy Cerrone. He absolutely accepted the fight and would love to take the fight. B.J. Penn wanted the fight. Anthony Pettis wanted this fight. A lot of guys wanted this fight, but we ended up Nate Diaz. We felt this was the fight to make and a fight that the fans wanted to see,” said the UFC president.

Diaz is ranked number five in the 155-pound division. He’s coming off a unanimous decision win over Michael Johnson on Dec. 19. Although, the bout against dos Anjos was scheduled to take place in the lightweight division, McGregor will face Diaz at 170 pounds.

“‘Conor McGregor has the 145-pound title.  He was moving up to 155-pounds to take dos Anjos’ title.  Then there was talk about him going up to 170 to fight Robbie Lawler for his 170-pound title.  This fight between him and Nate Diaz will be at 170 pounds.  It will be a welterweight fight, which is two weight classes above where Conor McGregor won his title,” explained White.

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  • Guest

    I guess they knew Nate would bring a huge draw in terms of ppv buys. Glad it’s Nate to derail the hype train. I hope he listens to some intelligent people and negotiates at least 1 mil for this fight, or a piece of the ppv that nears that.

    • TRT-rex

      Personally think Nate will lose. But your right. At least 500,000 plus ppv shares. With his reebok $$, he should make over a million.

      • deepgrim

        yeah it will be good to see nate finally get paid! Nate does generate some interest but as for the fight i would expect conor to win, you never know tho will a motivated or lethargic nate show up? first time conor wont have a reach advantage so i think you might get to see a bit more of conors kicking game

      • George Sperry

        You are = you’re not your.

  • TheMod

    Nate Diaz is going to be HUGE in comparison to McGregor, but I think McGregor’s body is going to look pretty solid at 170/180.

    • Groinstrike

      Na… Conor will look more built.

    • MoodyLedZep71

      Agree and he can’t hide from Nate!!

      • Collideoverme

        There won’t be any hiding….

    • unclejack

      Huge? That wheasel bum? lol…

      • Collideoverme

        Nate has never looked huge. He has long skinny arms and legs. Doesn’t seem to matter what weight he fights at. Conor has packed on some serious muscle.

  • Pat Garret

    Guess, its definitely red panties night at the Diaz residence…

  • Collideoverme

    Why is Nate Diaz even getting a chance to sniff Conor’s jock strap?
    Frankie….very disappointing.
    Aldo, I expected no different.
    But Diaz?

    • qwe

      Nate Diaz is the most out of shape and he’s got nothing to lose.
      Why would Aldo or Edgar want to step in on late notice at 60% when McGregor has had the best camp of his life and is 100%?

      The fans wanted the Cerrone fight, not Diaz, but Cerrone just fought and is in good shape. Uncle Dana doesn’t want that.

      • MoodyLedZep71

        Trash talk sells fights !!After the last ppv was moved to fox they need stars right now

      • Sir_Roy

        Nate is rarely out of shape cardio wise though. He trains year round. Triathalons are what he does on his days off. Lol. Not too worried about his conditioning. But who knows.

      • Collideoverme

        I do think Cerrone should have been the fight booked, but…If Conor loses, there is no belt on the line. The upside is, Conor is talking the talk of wanting to fight at several different weight classes. Here’s his chance to put up or shut up. Nate doesn’t have to cut weight either. Dude is a threat to anyone. Conor’s training is absolutely no joke.

    • MoodyLedZep71

      He can’t fight Frankie cause he was to heavy for 145,170 will be hard cause Nate will be 190 at the time of the fight

      • Collideoverme

        Yeah, all the recent video’s of Conor have him looking huge. He’s rangy too. Looking forward to this fight now.

    • mmamouth

      I think this is probably one of if not the best solutions under the circumstances. Connor had a huge opportunity swept out from under his feet and now has a lot less upside to taking this fight. It’s 2 weight classes above where he has the Title. Let him dip his toe in and test the waters there and give him a winnable fight for his part in saving the card, while also ensuring that it will be a very entertaining match up.
      Connor is was bulking up for 155. Frankie and Aldo are at 145, and are in line for the 145 Title shot, and Frankie is currently injured anyway. All things considered, this is good.

      • Collideoverme

        Sadly after rethinking, I agree.

  • MoodyLedZep71

    Nate is no Joke !!!This will be a very good fight Conner may have bit off more than he can chew

  • mmalivesz

    Nate, get some good training in with Nick, Gilbert, Jake, and the rest of crew your brother brought in for Anderson fight.. You will SMOKE and DERAIL Mcnugget easy man. Your BJJ is WAY better than Mcnugget’s any day. Do not stand and trade with him. Make Mcnugget play your game. Submit his A$$ with your superior BBJ. War on WEED SMOKING DIAZ brothers from the 209

    • Sir_Roy

      What does BBJ stand for? New martial art no one’s heard of? All kidding aside, Diaz needs to take Conor down first. That said, I agree, the ground game is his ticket. Intriguing fight.

  • Roscoe Gauldin

    props to conor for staying on the card and taking a fight where he has nothing to gain. a lot of other champions would have bailed. all this talk about conor ducking Frankie, and I see Frankie turned down the fight, very disappointing. Frankie should have kept himself ready for this.

    • George Sperry

      Edgar is injured.

      • Roscoe Gauldin

        of course he is. but if roles were reversed, everybody would be saying conor is ducking a fight.

        • White_Devil

          Of course hes injured. Taking a page outta Aldos book.

    • cheflacsto

      I believe Frankie is injured.

    • The Prognosticator

      It makes no sense for him to take a catch weight fight that is not for the belt . He is next in line for a title shot at featherweight. I wouldn’t take this fight either if I was him. A win means nothing but bragging rights.

      • Sir_Roy

        Pretty sure the fight would have been for the FW title no? Otherwise, it makes zero sense to even propose it.

        They still have a few weeks to cut weight afterall.

        • Cigano

          pretty silly to throw away a title shot by taking a fight on 1-2 weeks notice.

          • The Prognosticator

            Let alone the fact that Frankie likely would have had to cut 15-20 pounds in around 10 days with no fight camp. Conor would have had to cut around 10 pounds in ten days. The fight simply made no sense for Frankie who will get his shot sooner or later with a full camp and proper preparation.

    • deepgrim

      he said he was injured but i think frankie wouldnt want a short camp, he would have a lot to lose just as connor does taking these last minute replacements

  • Ron Wheeler

    Expect pre-fight punchup.

    • deepgrim

      I think conor likes the diaz brothers so i wouldnt think so

  • Scoobying

    I predict a brawl at the weigh ins.

  • cheflacsto

    Should be good, I only wish we had time to build up the trash talking. If Nate stands and plays his boxing game Connor will finish him quickly. Nate needs to be shape and take it to the ground. I am not sure either of those will happen, if he shows up the way he did against RDA he is toast, and I do give Connor credit for staying on.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Tony Ferguson or Pettis or Khabib would have been much better matchups. Has anyone seen the odds yet?

    • mmamouth

      Better in some ways yes, but not better in others. I think this is probably one of if not the best solutions under the circumstances. Connor had a huge opportunity swept out from under his feet and now has a lot less upside to taking this fight. It’s 2 weight classes above where he has the Title. Let him dip his toe in and test the waters there and give him a winnable fight for his part in saving the card, while also ensuring that it will be a very entertaining match up. Why punish the guy with the 170 deep end of the pool on short notice?

      • Hugh Shakeshaft

        -360/+300

        You’re right. Why throw Connor a serious challenge on such short notice? But remember, any opponent will have the same notice. What’s done is done. I’ll still pay for it.

        • Sir_Roy

          Diaz is a serious challenge IMHO. He’s long, accurate and frustrating. He can go 5 hard rounds all day long as well. Conor has great movement, power and accuracy that mixes well so this one has my attention for sure.

      • Roscoe Gauldin

        not sure you are getting your point across. why don’t you post it a 3rd time.

    • cheflacsto

      Match ups for who? Not Connor, Khabib would take him down at will, and ferguson has a sick ground game. Nate will stand in the center of the ring and box while Connor does all of his flashy moves. Although Nate does have a good ground game, I don’t think he will take it there, and will most likely get knocked out, and that is exactly what the UFC wants. Keep Connor rolling then they can hype up this 155 fight again. Hopefully Frankie gets the crack at UFC 200.

      • Mark McDowall

        but can he do all the flashy stuff carrying an extra 25lbs?? Thats going to effect his cardio and his speed in a big way.

        • cheflacsto

          I don’t know about that, I am curious to see if that becomes a factor. Diaz not having a camp will be a bigger factor. If it goes to a third or 4th round we will see how the extra weight plays on Connor.

      • Sir_Roy

        Frankie and Aldo screaming the loudest for the match-up. Both said no to this golden ticket due to (admittedly) short notice. But still.

        • George Sperry

          Edgar is injured, groin injury.

        • cheflacsto

          You are wrong, not short notice for Edgar he is injured, and who knows what Aldo’s story is

  • Chicago

    $5 says nick pops positive for weed.

    • George Sperry

      They are testing brothers for fights now?

  • Mark McDowall

    Honestly I think this is a very stupid decision on the UFC & McGregors part. Diaz is strongest where McGregor is weakest…on the ground. He also isn’t afraid to stand and trade, admittedly not with the same level of skill McGregor has, but still no slouch standing. He also has those long limbs that make it very hard for people to avoid his submissions. Nate has absolutely nothing to loose…he has everything to gain if he wins.

    On the flip side…if Nate pops for weed or doesn’t make weight…this will make all parties involved looks really stupid.

    • Sir_Roy

      Yes, but Diaz will have to take Mcgregor down. Take downs are not Diaz’s forte. I say this ends up on the feet. I think they both want it there.

      That said, not sure this is a good fight for Conor either. I think Diaz could potentially frustrate Conor but we’ll see. He’s long and lanky and can go the five rounds (excellent cardio, especially at 170lbs fighting the smaller Conor). Decent volume puncher too. Can’t remember Diaz having gottten KO’d … has he?

      Folks forget that Diaz went the distance with Anjos despite his legs getting chopped out from under him. This one has me curious.

      • Fritzl

        if conor chops diazs legs he wins. the diaz borthers are solid striker but to take this away you need to chop the legs. and if you are a diaz brother the only thing you nearly never do is blocking legkicks so chop the legs. other than that diaz wins by submission, or ko, tko or decision;)
        and dont forget to chop the legs^^

      • deepgrim

        diaz was ko’d by josh thompson, but he really didnt show up for that fight. Nate has great bjj but from my memory most of it is based from his guard and not from been on top? And i guess he doesnt have great takedowns either so expect a stand up fight. diaz has a great chin and cardio and like someone else said conor with the extra weight might struggle with the cardio if it goes to the later rounds- i presume this is still a 5 round fight? With diaz having the extra reach i expect conor to use a lot of kicks, tho i see conor thinks the fight ends with an uppercut- so we will see if mystic mac strikes again

    • Groinstrike

      Conor will win easily. This fight will be over in less than 2 minutes. Either a big spinning head kick, or he will tag Diaz with a few straight lefts and put him to sleep.

  • Mikael

    Why Diaz? Khabib, Cerrone, Alvarez, Pettis?

    • Cigano

      they both excel at trash talking and playing mind games that’s why. back n forth banter between these two will help get fans invested into the fight.

      • Collideoverme

        The sooner Nate is out of the picture, the better, Good to book this fight now.

  • shred

    Diaz is so slow, Connor will f him up just like Josh Thompson did. But it will be fun to see all of the trash talking that both of these guys do.

    • Darin

      I don’t think Conor will have the same speed 25 pounds heavier.

  • shakejunt

    “It’s the fight that Conor really wanted.”

    of course it is.

  • Groinstrike

    Conor is going to flatten Diaz so fast. Won’t be at all surprised if Conor opens with a spinning kick and knocks diaz cold inside of 10 seconds.

    • mmalivesz

      Stop smoking the crack pipe or sniffing that weed guy. Mcnugget will be submitted. Take that to the bank.

  • Cigano

    I want my wolf ticket already.

  • Julia Marc

    good conor!

  • Ron Wheeler

    Conor looks VERY small at the staredown. I can see him Stockton slapped then subbed by the bigger guy.

  • DaGooru

    Edgar has a groin tear…..

  • scubaron

    160 would have been a correct weight to fight at…..!

  • burgerman7

    Aldo will rematch with full Training camp with Mcgregor and destroy him easily. Gsp rematched with Matt Serra and see what happened then.