Since his early years in the UFC, Nate Diaz has been a fan-favorite. But the fight that catapulted him into mainstream superstardom is his UFC 196 headliner against Conor McGregor in March 2016.
Diaz stepped in as a last-minute replacement for Rafael dos Anjos, whom “The Notorious” was challenging for the lightweight title at the time. But being fresh off a vacation in Mexico with almost no training, the Stockton native took the fight at 170 pounds.
The two men fought for nearly two rounds, but it was Diaz who walked off with the rear-naked choke submission. The magnitude of the said fight led to a rematch five months later at UFC 202, which turned out to be one of the biggest cards in company history.
During the fight week festivities for UFC 244, Diaz rewatched his first encounter with McGregor, while providing some colorful commentary on.
“Dana White’s crying. ‘Nooo!’” he said with a laugh in reaction right after referee Herb Dean stopped the fight. “‘That’s my guy!’”
Diaz will headline his third pay-per-view event this weekend against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244. The winner of the fight will take home the first-ever UFC “baddest motherf—r” title belt.