Confirmed! Conor McGregor to face Nate Diaz at UFC 196 after Jose Aldo turns down rematch
UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Conor McGregor will face Nate Diaz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 5.
The Crumlin fighter has been scheduled to face Rafael Dos Anjos, where a victory would have seen him become the UFC's first dual-weight champions, but the Brazilian was forced to pull out of the bout with a broken foot.
UFC President Dana White made the announcement late Tuesday on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
“We figured this would be the most exciting fight,” White said. “It’s the fight that Conor really wanted. A lot of people wanted to fight Conor McGregor, but Diaz wanted the fight and we figured this was the fight to make and the fight that the fans wanted to see."
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White revealed that a number of fighters turned down the chance to step into the breach while others were keen to enter the Octagon with 'The Notorious'.
“We called Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo turned the fight down,” White said.
“We called Frankie Edgar, Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. We called ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, (and he) absolutely accepted the fight – would love to take the fight. B.J. Penn said he wanted the fight. A lot of guys wanted this fight, but we ended up with Nate Diaz. We felt this was the fight to make and the fight the fans wanted to see.”