Dana White says he’s confident that Nate Diaz will be more than ready to face Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 196 on March 5.
Diaz was given just two weeks notice to step in for the fight, replacing the injured Rafael dos Anjos, and despite normally fighting in the lightweight division, he will have to make the step up to 170 pounds.
All of the above has raised doubts about Diaz’s readiness, and White did his best to alleviate those concerns when he appeared on LA Today in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“Nate Diaz has been training for a triathlon,” White revealed. “Nate Diaz is in phenomenal shape right now.
“So he’s not coming in out of shape. He’s in phenomenal shape right now.”
White may have a point, as Diaz and his brother are well-known triathletes and are known for having superior conditioning.
White also confirmed that several other fighters were considered to take Dos Anjos’ place.
“We called a lot of people. Our first choices were Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar. Neither guy could do the fight. Frankie Edgar’s going crazy because I said he couldn’t do the fight. He’s injured. He’s injured and couldn’t take the fight,” White clarified.
“This business is a business of opportunity. When opportunity knocks, you jump on it or you don’t. In a perfect world, you’ve had six to eight weeks to train, you know the guy you’re fight and you have no injuries and everything goes perfectly. Nate Diaz and a lot of other guys, too — Urijah Faber was on the list, Anthony Pettis, “Cowboy” Cerrone — but at the end of the day, Nate and Conor really want to fight.”