Conor McGregor is practically tripping over himself to get back in the ring with Nate Diaz, the man who dispatched him in dramatic fashion at UFC 196 back in March.
The two will meet for a rematch at UFC 202, and the question everyone’s asking now is, “Is this really a good idea, Conor?”
FOX Sports’ Jason Whitlock posed as much to Diaz on Tuesday’s Speak For Yourself, asking McGregor’s opponent if the Irishman is making the right call in rushing for a redo against an opponent who may be a worst-case matchup.
For Diaz, the answer is simple: If Conor doesn’t want to fight me, he isn’t a fighter.
“If you don’t want to fight a guy who beat you, or show you’re better than the guy everybody thinks is better than you, then I don’t know what you’re in this sport for. Because that’s what I’m in it for. That’s what I was in it for in the beginning–to let everyone know I’m the baddest dude there is. That I’m the baddest [expletive] there is.”
I mean, it makes sense.
McGregor is fighting for pride and a chance at redemption, and he’ll never truly have that in the eyes of his critics if he never gets a win on Diaz, his only UFC loss to date.
Conversely, jumping back in and immediately losing to Diaz again would be the quickest way to tank his stock in mixed martial artists and further damage the Conor McGregor brand–against an opponent he shouldn’t have even fought in the first place, if we’re being honest.
In any case, it’s happening. Because running from a fight will never be an option in the Conor McGregor playbook.