Nate Diaz has his own ideas about why he’s fighting Conor McGregor a second time.
Diaz submitted McGregor with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their welterweight main event March 5 at UFC 196 and the pair will headline UFC 200 July 9 in Las Vegas.
McGregor had the option to defend his UFC featherweight title or maybe even challenge lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos, but insisted on getting another crack at Diaz right away.
Speaking with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Diaz says the UFC believes his victory was “an accident” and that the promotion plans to “take him out before he gets any bigger.”
“Since that last fight, have you heard any praise for me from Dana or the UFC? None at all,” Diaz told ESPN. “How much praise has that m—–f—– got? I’ve never lost a fight and not wanted to fight the guy 10 minutes later. The UFC is pumping him up again, saying he wants to redeem himself and giving him all this credit for it. It’s like, dude, I’ve been obsessed with every fight I’ve ever lost. This is a gift for him to get it right away.
“He’s saying he’s obsessed? Welcome to my life, m—–f—–. That’s the game, and I’ve never gotten my losses back.”
McGregor dictated the terms of the weight of the first bout with Diaz, but it’s up for debate as to why the second fight remains at 170 pounds. Neither Diaz or McGregor currently call welterweight home but Diaz believes it has everything to do with the Irishman looking to right a wrong.
“He knows that if he goes in and changes circumstances, then that’s weak,” Diaz said of the rematch. “It’s not cool to go in and make your own set of rules because you lost on another set. If you’re going to avenge your loss, you’ve gotta go out and avenge it for real. It’s like a guy saying, ‘Let’s fight again, but no takedowns.’ That’s weak, and he knows that.”
Despite a strong finish the first go-round, complacency doesn’t sound like an issue for Diaz.
“I think I can beat every fighter from my weight up to heavyweight,” Diaz said. “I really do feel like I’m better than everyone, but I feel like if I don’t go in there and do what I’m supposed to do, you can f— up and lose to anyone. So even a guy I just beat, I need to make sure I prepare and get the job done. Kill or be killed. There’s a lot of pressure in this sport. I need to go in and make s— happen my way.”
McGregor faces Diaz July 9 in the main event at UFC 200 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
***Well guys, that’s it for me. Sad to say this is my final Morning Report for MMA Fighting. Thank you so much for reading it over the years. It’s much appreciated. And no, I promise this is not an April Fools joke. Thanks again. -DSM