When the main event was announced for UFC 200, there was some confusion as to why Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2 was happening at welterweight – the same weight the first fight was contested at UFC 196.
Dana White went onto SportsCenter and claimed that McGregor had insisted that the main event of UFC 200 be contested at welterweight however McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh, suggested that it was the promotion who had pushed for the rematch to be at 170 lbs.
@davehighton83 initially thought 155 would suit both guys better. UFC insisted on 170. we agreed. not that much of a biggie.
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) March 31, 2016
This week however, Audie Attar (Conor McGregor’s manager) explained to MMAFighting.com how McGregor genuinely wasn’t bothered what weight class the rematch was contested at, even offering to do it at lightweight right before signing the fight contract.
“At the 11th hour, before we signed the bout agreement, [McGregor] said, ‘Look, I’m hearing everybody. If everybody wants to do 155, fine. Let’s do 155,'” Attar said on Wednesday.
“The contract was already written at 170. And so, in Conor’s defence, he really didn’t give two shits. He really wanted it at 170, because he wanted to prove he could beat him there.”
With all the discussion and negotiations around the rematch, the significance of which is proven by the fact that it has taken precedence over a title fight in terms of billing, Attar went on to commend his client for considering all options.
“Conor is his own CEO, but intelligently he listens to the people around him and then makes his own final decision,” Attar said. … “He was trying to accommodate and listen to everybody and be a team player to make this happen.”
“For him, that loss in itself, because of how he was performing until it went the other way is yet again fuelled by his own self-belief system, confidence and desire to want to continue to push the envelope with his athletic ability and his skills, no matter who is in front of him,” Attar said. “It happens to be the guy who beat him. He wants to put the same canvas up and paint a different picture for the audience to watch. And that’s what it’s all about, really.
“Economically, business-wise it makes sense as well. So you check all the boxes.”
Picture Credit || Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLCCheck out our latest podcast episode featuring Adam Milstead & Dinis "Sweetbread" Paiva