UFC 202: Conor McGregor’s next fight has been confirmed
Dubliner gets his rematch with Nate Diaz headlining at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas
Conor McGregor warms up backstage before facing Nate Diaz during the UFC 196 event last March. Photograph: Getty Images
Conor McGregor will finally get his chance at a rematch with Nate Diaz - the fight he’s been so “obsessed” about - with a date officially scheduled for late August.
UFC 202 on August 20th, Las Vegas is the venue - on Saturday night the UFC confirmed the fight and now the featherweight champion has two and a half months to prepare for the welterweight contest.
Diaz caused a major upset at UFC 196 last March, defeating the Irishman by submission having stepped in last minute to replace the injured lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.
The Dubliner was due to get his crack at revenge at UFC 200 next month - but the headline event was dropped from the card as McGregor failed to fulfil his promotional duties, opting instead to remain in Iceland for a training camp.
Despite McGregor struggling to maintain his usual intensity at the heavier weight of welterweight, against a much bigger, longer opponent - UFC chief Dana White says that the Crumlin native was adamant that he would have a like-for-like rematch rather than return down to the featherweight and lightweight divisions he is accustomed to.
“After the fight, Lorenzo (Fertitta) and I went up to Conor’s house that he was renting here in Las Vegas and started talking about, ‘what are you thinking, what’s next?’ And he was obsessed,” White told ESPN after the initial Diaz defeat. “Obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again.
“Obviously Lorenzo and I tried to argue with him and say let’s go back down to 145 and defend your title, or if you really want the Diaz fight that bad, do it at 155. And he wants to fight at 170. Even his coach, Coach (John) Kavanagh, tried to get him to get off this rematch and off the 170-pound fight, but it’s what he wanted.”
The confirmation also means that the possibility of the 27-year-old facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match looks, at least for now - like utter fantasy.