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Dana White: Conor McGregor was ‘obsessed' with Nate Diaz rematch at 170 pounds

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor is official for the main event of UFC 200 -- and as expected, nothing much changed.

Just as the two rivals met at UFC 196 in a welterweight non-title affair, their UFC 200 rematch will be contested again at welterweight, several pounds above the respective lightweight and featherweight divisions Diaz and McGregor often compete at. And according to UFC president Dana White, that's because McGregor wouldn't have it any other way.

"After the fight, Lorenzo (Fertitta) and I went up to Conor's house that he was renting here in Las Vegas and started talking about, ‘what are you thinking, what's next?' And he was obsessed," White said Wednesday on ESPN. "Obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again.

"Obviously Lorenzo and I tried to argue with him and say let's go back down to 145 and defend your title, or if you really want the Diaz fight that bad, do it at 155. And he wants to fight at 170. Even his coach, Coach (John) Kavanagh, tried to get him to get off this rematch and off the 170-pound fight, but it's what he wanted."

McGregor remains the UFC's reigning featherweight champion. The Irishman suffered a stunning defeat against Diaz at UFC 196, submitting to a second-round rear-naked choke in a fight that Diaz accepted on just 11 days' notice following the withdrawal of Rafael dos Anjos.

The booking of Diaz-McGregor 2 has drawn mixed reactions from fans since MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani first reported it on March 18, however White said that McGregor's past willingness to accept short notice fights played a part in the UFC's decision-making for July 9.

"Conor McGregor is a guy who has had fights fall out seven days before he's supposed to defend his title, and he steps up and he takes on all comers," White said. "The guy fights anybody, anywhere, anytime. He's stepped up on late notice and done the these things. He wants this Nate Diaz fight? We'll give it to him. We'll make Frankie (Edgar) and Jose (Aldo) for the interim title, and whoever wins that fight will then fight Conor McGregor for the 145-pound title."

While many have questioned whether McGregor will ever return to the featherweight division, White made it clear that the UFC expects McGregor to defend his title against the winner of Aldo-Edgar 2 next, regardless of the outcome against Diaz at UFC 200.

"Win, lose, or draw against Nate Diaz, he will go in and he will fight either Jose or Frankie," White said. "Whoever wins at (UFC) 200."

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