UFC Officials have confirmed that Conor McGregor (19-2) will be facing Nate Diaz (18-10) at UFC 196. Earlier today, Rafael Dos Anjos (25-7) had to pull out of the fight due to a broken foot. Many have speculated throughout the day that Nate Diaz would face McGregor, so the matchup is not much of a surprise.
However, the biggest surprise of the announcement is that the fight will take place at 170 pounds. “The Notorious” has been known to be physically bigger when he fought at 145 pounds, but the big jump to 170 pounds to face Nate Diaz is unprecedented. The Stockton native has fought at both 155 and 170 pound weight classes. Throughout the day, there were reports that negotiations were not going well in terms of what weight the two fighters would compete at. But now it seems that the fight is on and both have agreed at welterweight.
Both Diaz and McGregor have some history in the past. Diaz called out McGregor in his post-fight interview after his unanimous decision victory over Michael Johnson in December.
This is a stylistically entertaining matchup since both fighters are known for their incredible standup. Nate Diaz has some of the top boxing skills in MMA. The Irishman has shown fluidity of mixing punches and kicks. This will be the first time in McGregor’s UFC career that he will be facing someone with a longer reach than him. Diaz has a 76-inch reach compared to McGregor’s 74-inch reach.
The UFC officially announced the bout on Twitter.
— #UFCPittsburgh (@ufc) February 24, 2016