Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of UFC 196 with an injury, and Nate Diaz will step into fight Conor McGregor.
The announcement was supposed to come on SportsCenter during the 11 p.m. ET hour, but Damon Martin of Fox Sports beat ESPN to the punch.
The bout will be at welterweight, despite the UFC 196 main event being originally scheduled for the lightweight belt. That means there will be no interim belt on the line, which makes sense given the short amount of time to cut weight.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) February 24, 2016
After his December fight at UFC on FOX 17, Diaz publically campaigned for a fight against McGregor during what was supposed to be a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
"F–k that. Conor McGregor, you're taking everything I work for, you motherf–ker. I'm gonna fight your f–kin' ass!" Diaz told cameras. "You know what's the real fight. What the really money fight is. Me, not these clowns that you already punked at the press conference. Don't nobody want to see that. You know you've beat them already. That's the easy fight, you want that real sh-t right here!"
Diaz got his wish and his reasoning back in November still holds value today with UFC 196 on the line.
"This is going to be the highest-profile fight you can see. That s–t last week was blown out of proportion, I thought," Diaz following UFC 194.
Diaz seems to have a personal vendetta against McGregor, having accused him of stealing his style.
Diaz added: "Conor McGregor's saying all the same s–t that I've been saying for the last five years and the UFC's pushing that, and then when I say some s–t like that, it's like 'Put him on the end of the banner, put him on the undercard.' This is where it's at. He's saying the same s–t, they push it. I say it, they hide me."
The storyline is there and the necessary words are on camera for a quick promo.