Conor McGregor to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 196

Featherwight champion stepping up to welterweight after Rafael dos Anjos withdrawal

Conor McGregor will take on Nate Diaz at UFC 196 following the withdrawal of original opponent Rafael dos Anjos on Tuesday.

McGregor will be stepping up two weight divisions to welterweight, an increase from 155lbs to 170lbs, for the fight at the MGM Grand on March 5th.

Dos Anjos was forced out of the fight in Las Vegas with a broken foot, making it the fourth time in eight bouts McGregor's opponent has pulled out.

But now the featherweight champion has agreed to step up in weight to fight Diaz, who has lost three of his last five fights.

The new fight was announced by UFC president Dana White on ESPN's "SportsCenter," he said: "We figured this would be the most exciting fight.

“It’s the fight that Conor really wanted. A lot of people wanted to fight Conor McGregor, but Diaz wanted the fight and we figured this was the fight to make and the fight that the fans wanted to see.”

White also revealed Jose Aldo, who McGregor knocked out to win the featherweight belt, turned down the offer of a rematch, he said: "We called Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo turned the fight down.

"We called Frankie Edgar, Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. We called 'Cowboy' Cerrone, (and he) absolutely accepted the fight – would love to take the fight. B.J. Penn said he 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 the fight the fans wanted to see."