UFC 196: Conor McGregor to face Nate Diaz in non-title bout

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Conor McGregor
December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor celebrates his championship victory against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Reuters/Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Undisputed featherweight champ Conor McGregor will face Nate Diaz for a non-title bout at UFC 196 on Mar. 5. Diaz replaces UFC light heavyweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, who broke his foot during a training session.

In an interesting yet familiar turn of events, McGregor will once again have to face another challenger before getting a chance to take on the light heavyweight gold. It was against Chad Mendes before McGregor faced Jose Aldo, and this time, the latter will will take on Diaz with the Dos Anjos fight delayed.

Diaz was one of the three fighters who called out McGregor after news broke out that Dos Anjos will not be able to compete. The 30-year-old Diaz insisted on Twitter that McGregor would have to get on his knees and beg to fight him, but apparently, such an action is no longer necessary, with UFC president Dana White confirming on SportsCenter that the long-time light heavyweight will face McGregor in the Octagon.

"We called Jose Aldo; Jose Aldo turned the fight down," White said. "We called Frankie Edgar; Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. Those are two guys everybody was talking about."

White added they chose Diaz to be McGregor’s next opponent as they felt it was the fight fans want to see, with both fighters having created a small rivalry. After winning his main event fight against Michael Johnson at UFC on Fox 17 in December, Diaz had called out McGregor in a not-so-friendly manner. McGregor then hit back at Diaz after winning the Fighter of the Year award earlier this month.  

"Stop holding bitterness deep in your bum soul. Stuck on $20,000 to show and $20,000 to fight. I wipe my ass with that money. I tip your wage, Nate, yeah,” McGregor said, reports Fox Sports.

Diaz has a slight advantage over McGregor in terms of fight experience at the welterweight division, having fought twice at this weight class with a 2-2 record. On the other hand, it will be McGregor’s first career appearance at that weight.