Conor McGregor isn’t afraid to go big when his original opponents back out of fighting him. When Jose Aldo pulled out of their featherweight title fight last year, McGregor could have faced off against anyone he chose … the UFC was just grateful he was willing to accept a last second replacement at all, unlike certain other fighters whose names rhyme with Gon Gones. He ended up facing, and beating, No. 1 contender Chand Mendes, the toughest opponent available.
Now McGregor is in a similar situation with Rafael Dos Anjos pulling out of their fight a mere 10 days from the card. And once again, he didn’t blink when tough names were put forward for consideration.
“In reality, many people pretended like they wanted to fight until the fight actually presented itself,” McGregor said at Wednesday’s press conference. “Frankie [Edgar] never showed up, and when he was given a phone call and a date, he hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Jose [Aldo] also, Jose was in camp preparing in case Dos Anjos pulled out. And then all of a sudden Dos Anjos pulls out with his bruised foot, and then Jose is not fit.”
“I certainly did ask when Nick’s ban is up,” McGregor told Fox Sports Live. “He’s still banned, so either or is good for me. Maybe somewhere down the line I’ll probably contest against both, I feel.”
Nick Diaz is the more famous of the Diaz brothers. He held the Strikeforce welterweight title until the promotion was bought and absorbed by the UFC, and then went on to have massive fights against BJ Penn, Georges St-Pierre, and Anderson Silva. That last bout was at 185 pounds, and Nick has always been the big brother as far as size goes, too. That McGregor was willing to face him anyways just goes to show you how limitless his confidence is.
And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for that darned meddling athletic commission. Nick Diaz is under suspension until the very end of July over a questionable marijuana offense following his fight with Anderson Silva. Meanwhile, Silva failed his drug test, as well, testing positive for the steroids drostanolone and androsterone. Somehow, the Spider only got a 12-month suspension versus Nick’s 18 months, and he’ll be fighting this weekend in England.