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McGregor's First Response To Fighting Nate Diaz Was Even Better Than We Could Have Hoped

McGregor's First Response To Fighting Nate Diaz Was Even Better Than We Could Have Hoped
By PJ Browne Updated

Just over 15 hours after news breaking regarding Rafael dos Anjos' fractured foot, Conor McGregor already had a new opponent for UFC 196.

There was a glut of UFC fighters lining up for the lucrative pay day that comes with fighting the Dubliner.

McGregor was willing to take on any of them.

In the end, the UFC opted for a welterweight fight with Nate Diaz. That's a jump of two weight classes - 25 pounds - from the last time McGregor entered the octagon.

Given the short notice, it was always going to be a struggle for Diaz to make 155 pounds. In fact, he felt it would be an issue making 160, insisting on a catchweight of 165.

McGregor had a bullish, could-not-care-less counter offer.

That "Tell him to get comfortable" line is a definite contender for use in a promo for this fight.

Speaking to Kevin Iole for Yahoo Sports, Dana White told of McGregor's reaction to word that dos Anjos was pulling out of the lightweight title fight.

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When we told Conor, he said, 'Come on! This [expletive] guy! Oh my God! He's pulling out?' But when we went through the options, he said he'd fight any of them.

"I swear to God, he said, 'I'll fight anyone.' He just doesn't give a [expletive]. People talk about this strained relationship between us and Conor, and he has a different style than I've ever seen, but I have never seen anyone like Conor. The closest was Chuck Liddell, but we've never had one like Conor. You think he's not hurt? But when he says he's going to fight, he's going to fight no matter what.

Two fighters who did not join the queue were Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar. To be fair, the latter is injured and the former just off the back of an injury suspension.

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Announcing that McGregor would fight Diaz on March 5th, Dana White listed out some of those who wanted the McGregor matchup.

We called Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo turned the fight down. We called Frankie Edgar, Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. Those were two guys that everyone was talking about - those two out of the way.

We called Cowboy Cerrone - absolutely loved the fight, accepted the fight.

BJ Penn wanted the fight. Anthony Pettis 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 this was the fight fans wanted to see.

That list doesn't even include the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Urijah Faber both of whom also slung their hats into the octagon.

For Conor McGregor, this is a similar situation to last summer at UFC 189 when he ended up facing Chad Mendes rather then Jose Aldo. The then featherweight champion withdrew 12 days prior to the fight, dos Anjos pulled out 11 days prior to his bout with McGregor.

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MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani related how negotiations went between McGregor, Diaz and the UFC to make the fight in such a short time.

Following the announcement of McGregor's fight with dos Anjos, John Kavanagh wrote "You’ve seen Conor on salads… now watch what he’s like on steak."

That's a great line.

Presumably it will be steak in the plural rather than singular over the next ten days.

Picture credit: Esther Lin / SPORTSFILE

Read: How The MMA World Reacted To McGregor Vs Diaz Being Confirmed For UFC 196

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