As soon as the epic five-round main event at UFC 202 concluded, both Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz — now tied at 1-1 after two fights — seemed quite interested in settling the score with a third fight. In fact, McGregor even insisted that the rubber match would be on his terms and would take place at 155 pounds, not 170, as their previous two were.
UFC President Dana White, however, had a different idea in mind. White insisted that if McGregor didn’t defend his 145-pound title in his next fight against interim champion Jose Aldo, he would be stripped of the belt.
“He’s not gonna get stripped,” White said to NBC Sports Radio. “He’s gonna make a decision. He knows that the Nate Diaz fight isn’t the fight to make right now.”
White continued, noting that while he won’t be stripped of his title, he’s fully aware that he must either defend it or give it up and decide what path he’s going to take his career next.
“He has to either defend his title or give it up and decide what he wants to do next.”
McGregor continued, “Think about this, [Manny] Pacquiao vs. [Floyd] Mayweather, the build up for that fight, everything else. That fight didn’t live up to the hype and I think, more importantly, it left a really bad taste in people’s mouths.”
He continued, “I don’t think that was the case for [the rematch between] Diaz-McGregor. With the amount of people that were pulled in to watch that fight, everybody left satisfied and those are the kind of fights that make you want to come back and watch again.”