While the UFC characterized the UFC 200 booking between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at 170 lbs. as being something McGregor himself insisted upon, the Irishman’s manager Audie Attar said this week that the Featherweight Champion was ultimately willing to fight at 155 lbs.
“At the 11th hour, before we signed the bout agreement, [McGregor] said, ‘Look, I’m hearing everybody. If everybody wants to do 155, fine. Let’s do 155,'” Attar said Wednesday’s UFC 199 media event (via MMAFighting.com). “The contract was already written at 170. And so, in Conor’s defense, he really didn’t give two s***s. He really wanted it at 170, because he wanted to prove he could beat him there.
“Conor is his own CEO, but intelligently he listens to the people around him and then makes his own final decision. He was trying to accommodate and listen to everybody and be a team player to make this happen.”
With contracts already drawn up and finalized, the UFC opted not to make the change, and so the main event remains a welterweight rematch.
Penick’s Analysis: That’s not refuting that McGregor pushed for 170 lbs., because he wants to prove that UFC 196 wasn’t his best at that weight class. Still, it’s unfortunate we’re not seeing the fight at lightweight; it would have been much more palatable in that spot at UFC 200 for the entire fanbase rather than the casuals who would tune in regardless because it’s McGregor and Diaz. It’s a weight class much more suited to McGregor, but this is the decision he’s made, and if he loses a second time then that significant setback is on him and hubris.
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