Conor McGregor is gearing up to try and gain a measure of revenge on Nate Diaz when the pair face off at UFC 202 in a rematch from last March at UFC 196.
Diaz submitted the Notorious One in the second round of their first duel and the Irishman cannot afford another loss in such convincing circumstances.
The 28-year-old is one of the most controversial and outspoken stars in the MMA today and his main event value, as well as credibility, would be severely damaged if he came up short again.
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Nobody wants to pay to see a man say they can knock someone out and they can't.
Whatever the outcome of this fight, how likely is it McGregor will recede back to his more comfortable surroundings of the featherweight division?
“I haven’t really spoke about it to anyone about what’s next. Who knows what’s next?” McGregor said during a recent conference call, as per Sherdog.com. “Right now I’m [less than two weeks] away from a war and I’m ready for the war. So that’s all I’m thinking of right now. So let’s have this war."
Mystic Mac - who has predicted he will knock Diaz out in round two - is clearly focused on his upcoming bout and nothing else, which should be expected with fight night only nine days away.
However, he did spare a thought for Jose Aldo after the Brazilian won the interim UFC featherweight title after overcoming a stubborn Frankie Edgar in five rounds at UFC 200.
“I’m looking forward to going in there and having this fight with this man [Diaz]. Something I’m really, really looking forward to and f—k everything else. To see Aldo come back and win that fight against Frankie, I was happy for Aldo,” McGregor said. “When you see a long-time champion get knocked down like that, the way I knocked him out, I said it then: I felt sorry for him a little bit.
“That was why I was there, I wanted to see, if this motherf—-er comes through this and can do what he’s saying, well then it’s on. For now, Aldo’s taken that belt again.”
It's hard to imagine that McGregor will not revert back to featherweight at some point, but he may feel he has nothing to gain from fighting a man he knocked out in 14 seconds again.
Aldo would be the competitor looking for redemption and the scope to improve on the first fight is very small for McGregor. The fact he remains so non-committal on the matter is sure to leave plenty of room for speculation for who the loud-mouth Irishman will target next.
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