Conor McGregor wasn’t supposed to lose to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. He wasn’t even supposed to fight Diaz at UFC 196. When Diaz took the fight on short notice, most people assumed it would be another notch in McGregor’s belt. Instead, the boisterous Diaz defeated the reigning Featherweight champ in convincing fashion.
The loss was a tough one to swallow for McGregor. It’s never easy for a guy who talks so much trash to lose, and McGregor is no exception. Just how badly that loss has bugged Conor was on display for the whole world to see on Thursday when it was officially announced that McGregor and Diaz would be squaring off again at UFC 200 on July 9.
Dana White confirmed to ESPN that Conor McGregor’s “obsession” with Diaz was the driving force behind the rematch.
“After the fight, Lorenzo and I went up to Conor’s house that he was renting here in Las Vegas and started talking about, ‘What are you thinking, what’s next?’ And he was obsessed. Obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again,” White said.
One of the most surprising things about the rematch is that it is again being fought at 170 pounds, well above McGregor’s previous 145-pound bouts. According to White, even McGregor’s coach was against the idea:
“Obviously Lorenzo and I tried to argue with him and say let’s go back down to 145 and defend your title, or if you really want the Diaz fight that bad, do it at 155. And he wants to fight at 170. Even his coach, Coach Kavanagh, tried to get him to get off this rematch and off the 170-pound fight, but it’s what he wanted.”
Being the competitor he is, McGregor just can’t go on with his career until he corrects what happened at UFC 196. He’s walking a dangerous line though. Another loss to Diaz could put his status as the UFC’s golden boy in serious jeopardy.