When the UFC held its UFC 200 press conference in Las Vegas last Friday, they left an empty chair out on the podium to represent the absent Conor McGregor. Across from that chair sat Nate Diaz, who was supposed to fight Conor in July … until the UFC took the Irish fighter off the card for missing the presser.
Nate wasn’t too happy that his big money rematch had evaporated into thin air, and he sounded less than enthused with UFC president Dana White’s offer to find him a replacement fight for the card.
“I just came to fight Conor McGregor,” Diaz said. “I don’t really have too much interest in anybody else. … I said I’m gonna come here to fight, if we get that fight going. If not, I’m going on vacation. For real.”
And with McGregor apparently off the UFC 200 card for good, Diaz seems to be following through on his statement.
We’re still waiting on official confirmation from the UFC that Nate isn’t just screwing around, but Dana White seemed rather zen about the possibility of another big star disappearing from the event on Friday.
“The thing was that I didn’t want to screw [Nate] out of UFC 200,” he said. “If he wanted to be a part of this thing and wanted to fight, then I wanted to give him that opportunity.”
Now he’ll have to wait and see if his backup main event comes through: a rumored rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Cormier was set to fight Jones this past weekend at UFC 197, but a shin injury took him off the card. Now the UFC is waiting to see if he can return in time for the July card … and if Jon Jones made it out of his decision win over Ovince Saint Preux without any serious bumps or bruises.
For the sake of UFC 200, we hope this works out.