It is less than two weeks before the double header that is UFC 196 is slated to take off in Las Vegas, Nevada, but it seems that changes regarding the event have not stopped after its name was changed from UFC 197 to 196 earlier this year. Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos needed to back out from the fight because of an injury leaving challenger Conor McGregor dateless on March 5. Fortunately, Dana White and company were able to find a fill in just about time in Nate Diaz.
McGregor and Diaz were both present during the latest press conference for their upcoming fight and as expected, the two had a couple of things to say to each other.
“Conor McGregor is fighting, and that’s it,” McGregor told ESPN. “That’s all you need to know. That’s all I need to know, that’s all the fans need to know and it’s all UFC execs need to know. That’s why they high-five each other every time, as long as the real draw is on the card.”
As usual, the Irish Man offered his own analysis of his opponent and was quoted in saying, “I just think he’s too predictable in everything he does,” adding that Diaz has a soft frame and a left uppercut will be the winning shot for him. However, it may not be as easy as McGregor projects it to be as instead of just going up one weight class, he now needs to put in more pounds to fight Diaz in 170.
For a time, the 170 lb mark was pivotal for Diaz as he was willing to go down as much as 155lb just for the fight to happen but as the negotiations continued, he stood firm in fighting at 10lbs more in 165..
“The first day (UFC) called and said it was going to happen, I was like, ‘All right, I’m going to go work out and try to get this weight down,’ ” the American fighter shared. “I agreed to 155. I went through a hard day of training. I stopped eating. I had a mission ahead of me.
“Later that night, several things were going on. UFC said, ‘If you don’t take the fight under these circumstances, we’re not calling back.’ I said, ‘If you aren’t calling me back, I’m going to dinner, and things will be different tomorrow.’ They called the next day, and I’m like, ‘All right, now I’m only fighting at 165, and that’s your fault,'” he further explained. Ultimately, it was McGregor who suggested that he is down to fight at 170