Although Conor McGregor is the smaller fighter and a champion of the featherweight weight class, it appears he was the one to suggest a welterweight match-up against Nate Diaz as a UFC 196 replacement.
According to UFC President Dana White, when he suggested a 165-pound match-up against Diaz, McGregor pushed for it to take place at welterweight.
"The fight is supposed to be at 155," White told MMAJunkie.com. "Nate says he wants it at 165. I said, ‘No, this kid is moving up from 145 to 155. You told me you could make 155. You've got to make 155.' He can't make 155, so I said, ‘Let's do 160.' He can't do 160, so I tell Conor, ‘He can't do 160 pounds. He wants to do 165 pounds.' Conor says, ‘You tell him it's 170.'
"So now we have a welterweight bout. Conor McGregor is moving from 145 pounds to 170 pounds to fight Nate Diaz."
Several fighters threw their name in the hat to challenge McGregor at UFC 196, including Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson but the opponents that the UFC was potentially after like Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo were unavailable for the short-notice bout.
UFC 196 takes place March 5th in Las Vegas Nevada, A bantamweight title fight between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate will serve as the evening's co-main event.