Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Urijah Faber vs. Conor McGregor? It Almost Happened at UFC 196

The two fights between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz that helped elevate the mass appeal for both fighters almost didn’t happen.

At least not how it actually went down.

Urijah Faber explained during a special Q&A with fans in China that he had accepted the spot opposite McGregor back at UFC 196 before Diaz stepped in.

“Actually, a lot of people don’t know that I was offered a fight with Conor McGregor – the same fight that Nate Diaz got,” Faber said (thanks to MMAjunkie for the quotes). “And I was going to go up two weight classes and fight him on three weeks’ notice.”

The two were coaches opposite one another on The Ultimate Fighter, but the idea they would fight was never mentioned. The season featured the infamous altercation between Faber, McGregor and then-Faber teammate T.J. Dillashaw.

McGregor, then the featherweight champion, lost to Diaz but avenged that defeat with a decision win.

“That would’ve been a good pay day, and it would’ve been a lot of fun,” he said. “I like Conor a lot, but as you know he’s a good fight for anybody these days. It would’ve been nice to have had that fight even though it would’ve been up two weight classes and on short notice. I’m always game for a challenge like that.”

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