Rumor had it that if Conor McGregor beat Nate Diaz at UFC 196, he’d then face 170 pound champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 200. That’s obviously out of the question now that Diaz tapped McGregor on Saturday night, but that doesn’t mean the Irishman is off of the July megacard.
“Going back down to the featherweight division is what I imagine is next,” McGregor said thoughtfully when asked about UFC 200 during the post-event press conference. “I still feel that UFC 200 is there for me. … I’m not cut. I’m simply heartbroken and that’s it. I’ll pick myself up and we’ll figure it out in the morning.”
“At the end of the day I am featherweight world champion. I feel it is right to go back down and remind them of what I achieved and what I’ve done in that division. But I am not forgetting about the 155 pound division. I am not forgetting about the 170 [pound] division.”
As for which featherweight he had his eye on, McGregor seemed undecided.
“It’s kind of hard not to give Aldo another go,” he mused. “He’s 10 years undefeated. But he pulls out a lot and he doesn’t show up a lot. Frankie at least gets in there and competes. So I dunno. I’ll keep my ear to the ground and see who the fans want to see most. What are the fans most interested in.”
When asked during the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show if he wanted Conor’s spot against Robbie Lawler, Nate Diaz sounded interested … if the price was right.
“The biggest fights I can get, that’s what I’m going to take,” he said. “Money talks, we’ll see what happens.”
“[Conor]’s been doing great and he’s got a lotta help behind him,” Nate elaborated at the post-event press conference. “And I just wish I had the same push, the same help. I’ve been in this for a long time, nine years, this is my 25th fight here in the UFC. And I’ve been, in the past few years, curious as to when this pays off. And I think it’s time. Now it’s time.”
Conor McGregor, never one to shy away from matchmaking, had his own thoughts on the next fight for Diaz.
“I believe Nate will fight [lightweight champ Rafael] dos Anjos now,” he offered. “After I defend my belt and climb myself back up, I think I will get that shot at the lightweight belt. So maybe me and Nate can do it again.”
With UFC 196 looking like it may be the biggest UFC pay per view in the company’s history, that’s probably a rematch the company would be interested in making. But as we learned this weekend, trying to plan ahead in the fight game is a risky proposition at best and a downright jinx at worst.