On the night featherweight champion Conor McGregor suffered his first UFC loss to Nate Diaz, he was originally scheduled to face then-lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in a champion versus champion super fight. An injury forced dos Anjos out of the fight days before the event, and Diaz accepted an offer to step in on ten-days notice.
Diaz absorbed McGregor’s power shots in the opening round. He submitted the Irishman in the second frame via rear-naked choke after hurting “The Notorious” with punches.
McGregor didn’t train to face Diaz. He didn’t expect to compete at 170 pounds, 25 pounds above the weight class in which he holds the world title in. Had he faced dos Anjos on March 5 as originally planned, McGregor says he’d be a two-division UFC champion right now.
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“Realistically, I should be a two-weight UFC world champion,” he said during a media conference call. “If I fought Rafael dos Anjos, if he didn’t (espletive) out of that last one and showed up, the shots I cracked Nate in the first eight minutes of that fight would have KO’d Rafael dos Anjos stiff. That’s no question.
“I would be sitting here right now as a two-weight champion, but I don’t dwell on that,” he added.
McGregor and Diaz rematch in the UFC 202 main event on Aug. 20, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will take place in the welterweight division. McGregor insisted on rematching Diaz at the same weight as their fight fight.
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