It’s the same old, same old for Conor McGregor as his first opponent for UFC 196 Rafael Dos Anjos pulled out of the lightweight Championship bout on March 5 due to a broken foot.
The outspoken Irishman had the same problem when he was due to fight Jose Aldo at UFC 189 but the Brazilian pulled out with bruised rib; eventually McGregor got his man at the end of last year and knocked out Aldo in just 13 mere seconds.
But heading into what was another huge bout for McGregor, Dos Anjos pulled out; which has now paved the way for Nate Diaz to step up and take the big money fight against McGregor.
The only difference for McGregor in this fight is his jump up two weight classes; the fight against Dos Anjos was scheduled as lightweight; but now his fight against Diaz will be welterweight.
And according to McGregor that was to make Diaz ‘comfortable’ as there was difficulties making the 155lb, 160lb, and 165lb weight classes on short notice.
Either way it shouldn’t matter to McGregor who he fights
The Irishman is used to fighters pulling out at the last minute; but what his previous fights have shown is that he will take on all comers, and invariably still get the job done.
McGregor and Ronda Rousey have been credited with lifting the sport to new heights; and even though the pre-fight press conference took place with Dos Anjos, with the hype beginning to build for the Championship bout; the recent press conference involving Diaz and McGregor did not disappoint, with the Irishman’s cockiness and one-liners attracting plenty of media attention afterwards.
Diaz is a seasoned veteran in the UFC, his current record is 18-10, but he has lost three of his last five fights. The American has been around in the business for a long time, but you get the feeling that this is his biggest fight to date against the 27-year-old McGregor.
Diaz has taken the fight on very short notice, very similar to what Chad Mendes did when McGregor won the interim featherweight belt last year.
But with McGregor having already been in training prior to the Diaz announcement, it is hard to see the Irishman losing despite having to move up two weight classes.
With little over nine days remaining till McGregor and Diaz get it on – the war of words should intensify, but come March 5 both fighters should be ready in what will be a hugely entertaining contest.