Nate Diaz has confirmed his interest in a rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 200 on July 9, declaring "let's do it again," but wants to fight the Irishman at the lightweight limit of 155 pounds.
The 19-10 fighter appeared nonchalant when speaking on Fox Sports' UFC Tonight, insisting he's "looking for the biggest fight possible":
Stuart Fraser provided a transcript of the interview for MailOnline:
It's a real fight. Some people want to see that fight. Obviously, it just happened it was a real fight. When you get a real fight, people appreciate it. If that's what he wants to do and that's what the UFC wants to do, let's run it back. Let's do it again.
If there's a second fight, whatever. I'll fight at (155). I'd like to be in shape and be cut up and not have to hear it out of the fans and the people. Not even the fans but the guy (McGregor), I don't want to hear no excuses.
I'll make 55. I planned on making 55 the last time. We're going to have to see if they want to run it back and then we'll see.
Diaz submitted The Notorious via rear-naked choke at UFC 196, operating at the 170-pound weight class, and the pair are reportedly inches away from agreeing to a rematch for July 9, with weight limit one of the major decisions remaining.
MMA Hour presenter Ariel Helwani revealed earlier this week contracts have already been issued to the two fighters to once again meet at 170 pounds, with McGregor eager to earn his redemption on equal terms (h/t Irish Examiner's Stephen Barry):
It’s not happening at a more natural 155 pounds. It’s happening at 170 pounds. [...]
Make no mistake about it, the reason why this is happening at 170 pounds is because, to be frank, Conor McGregor is a bit of a wildman. [...] He feels like he should have won and he wants the same circumstances, the same rules, the same stipulations.
He wants to do it again and prove that he is the better man.
Excuses were made for McGregor in the aftermath of UFC 196, with many claiming the 25-pound leap was simply too great for the reigning UFC featherweight champion. However, the Dubliner seems eager to lay those claims to rest and prove he can be just as fearsome at welterweight.
Diaz has maintained he was always willing to fight McGregor at lightweight in their first bout, and he's reportedly ready to trim down to 155 pounds again this time.
The American described his first thoughts after the March victory to Fox's At The Buzzer:
"I wanna see the check!" .@NateDiaz209 jokes he didn't think the @ufc would pay up after he beat Conor McGregor. https://t.co/wo0jBopXNm3/24/2016, 2:13:14 AM
There's also the question as to where McGregor's plans for a Diaz rematch leave the featherweight division, with McGregor yet to make a defence of his title since defeating Jose Aldo in December to claim the belt.
Asked on his priorities and whether championship fixtures necessarily equate to the biggest fights, Diaz described "the title thing" as "a fairy tale," and Bleacher Report's Steven Rondina concurred:
Steven Rondina @srondina
And just like that, Nate Diaz staked a claim to being the smartest fighter on the UFC roster. https://t.co/V5R8iPbTXp3/24/2016, 12:05:06 AM
Just as McGregor desires to leave no doubt over his credentials at welterweight, Diaz also appears proud and wishes to rematch his UFC 196 opponent closer to his own terms. It's worth noting Diaz took their first fight on 11 days' notice and would be capable of cutting down weight with a full training camp.
Diaz's relaxed attitude gives the impression he may eventually agree to accept a second bout at 170 pounds, with the "biggest fights" his priority and the matter of opposition seemingly a secondary thought.
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