Despite contract negotiations going south between Nate Diaz and the UFC last month, UFC president Dana White is still looking to book the welterweight rematch for a future event.
White admitted to storming out of a restaurant in Diaz' hometown of Stockton, California but says his relationship with the former lightweight title challenger is still strong.
Diaz was selected as a late replacement to face 'The Notorious' at UFC 196, after Rafael dos Anjos was forced to pull out of the bout due to a broken foot. McGregor, who was originally supposed to be challenging for the lightweight title in an attempt to become the promotion's first simultaneous two-division champion, accepted the fight with Diaz at welterweight. It was uncharted territory for McGregor, and the Irishman was eventually submitted after a back-and-forth affair with Diaz in the second round.
Following the loss - McGregor's first in the UFC - it was expected that the featherweight champion would return to his championship weight class to defend the title he snatched from Jose Aldo in just thirteen seconds at UFC 194. McGregor, however, had other plans.
The word on the street was 'obsessed'. According to White, the SBG Ireland product demanded a rematch with Diaz - again at welterweight - due to his obsession with avenging the loss.
The head promoter reported on ESPN's Sports Center yesterday that McGregor is still fixated on the rematch and the UFC brass are doing everything in their power to sign the deal.
"We’re working on what’s next for him," White said, per MMA Junkie. "We’re trying to set up a fight right now. It’s been a little challenging. Obviously, the fight he would love to do is the rematch with Nate Diaz. I’m trying to get the deal done."Obviously the fight he would love to do is the rematch with Nate Diaz. I’m trying to get the deal done."
"Conor is obsessed with this rematch," White said. "I don’t know why, but he is. It’s just his type of personality. He’s obsessed with it. He’s obsessed with fighting Diaz again – at 170 pounds."
The rematch was originally a lock for UFC 200, but McGregor was removed from the bout after refusing to fulfill media obligations in Las Vegas. A civil war between McGregor and the UFC ensued, and rumors continue to circulate of a boxing mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Despite this, however, the former two-division Cage Warriors champion claimed that his relationship with the UFC is on the mend and they are looking to re-book the Diaz fight.
The blockbuster UFC 200 PPV, which marks the organization's debut at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 9, will now feature a light heavyweight title unification bout between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones in the main event.