A previous statement by former lightweight title contender Nate Diaz has led some people to believe that he might be scared to face reigning UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
Diaz was chosen to face “The Notorious” on March 5th as the headliner of UFC 196, which will be taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Originally, the fight was supposedly a lightweight title clash between champion Rafael dos Anjos and McGregor. However, Dos Anjos pulled out of the bout 11 days before fight night due to a broken foot injury he suffered during training. Many other fighters were called in to replace dos Anjos, such as former long-time 145-pound champion Jos Aldo, Urijah Faber, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
But it was Diaz who got the final call and the bout will now be scheduled as a non-title welterweight contest.
Despite the size advantage that Diaz holds, McGregor still opened up as a favorite in the fight. While a handful of people do believe that Diaz can pull off a win, many are still counting on the brash Irishman to come out victorious.
Like McGregor, Diaz is also known as a trash talker himself. But against McGregor, he took on quite a different approach. In a video by TMZ (as reported by MMA Fighting), Diaz says he is not looking past the idea of getting badly beat up in the fight, a demeanor he rarely shows.
“I think you should beat everybody on your worst day, but you can never be ready enough for a fight anyway. Might get murked,” Diaz said. “Don’t care, though. It’s all good. Or he might.”
One disadvantage that Diaz holds is not having a full six-week training camp leading into what he considers as a “big money fight.” But for the 30-year-old UFC veteran, it would not make a difference.
“I’ve went to camps, trained hard and fought like s***,” Diaz said. “Three weeks later, after eating as much as I want, hanging out, not doing nothing, came in and whooped everybody’s ass in the gym anyway. So we’ll see what happens.”