UFC: McGregor will return to FW after Diaz bout, Dana White says
Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion Conor McGregor (19-3) has has yet to step inside the octagon for his rematch with Nate Diaz, but Dana White has already laid out the plans for his next fight.
According to the UFC president, the Irish sensation will make his return at 145 lbs, regardless of the outcome of his upcoming fight at UFC 202 in Las Vegas on Aug. 20.
“I fully expect Conor to come back and defend his 145-pound title,” White officially confirmed in a report on UFC.com.
“The Notorious” has been a hot commodity for fighters looking for a hefty payday in recent months, including recently crowned UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (28-4), who also expressed his desire to have a crack at the victor of the UFC 202 main event.
“I know Nate Diaz is fighting Conor McGregor and I would like to try and get the winner of that fight,” Alvarez was quoted as saying in the report. “Hopefully somebody comes out on top there and they sign on the dotted line.”
Although there has yet to be an announcement on his possible opponent, longtime featherweight champion Jose Aldo (26-2) is believed to be the next in line for McGregor, after his hard-fought five-round victory against perennial contender Frankie Edgar.
White, meanwhile, hyped the McGregor-Diaz rematch as potentially the biggest in UFC history, and expects it to be just as good, if not better, than the first fight.
“If you look at how big Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather was and how big Diaz-McGregor 1 was – Diaz-McGregor delivered,” White said. “That fight delivered on all the hype and all the excitement and energy, and this one will, too.”
The 47-year-old UFC head honcho further explained his high hopes for the highly anticipated bout, which Diaz won in the second round with a rear-naked choke.
“Just stylistically and the way these guys fight, it’s impossible for Diaz-McGregor not to be a ridiculous fight,” White told UFC.com. “If you look at the first fight, Conor was absolutely just dominating and then gassed out. Diaz took every ounce of punishment and then as soon as he saw Conor started to slow down and was tired, he jumped right on him. It’s everything you love as a fight fan,” he added.
Aside from McGregor’s future, the UFC President also shed light on the current UFC Welterweight title picture, as reigning champion Tyron Woodley requested to be matched against the reportedly returning George St. Pierre or Nate Diaz’ older brother and main event staple, Nick Diaz.
“I think that Nate feels his brother should have the fight at 170, but Nick is not going to come back and fight for the title right away,” White said.
“There are other guys deserving of a title shot. Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is going to fight for the 170-pound title and then we’ll see what happens with Nick and Nate.” Khristian Ibarrola
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