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Conor McGregor is to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 196 on March 5, UFC president Dana White has confirmed.
McGregor had been scheduled to meet Dos Anjos at UFC 196 in Las Vegas on March 5 in a bid to become the first UFC fighter in history to hold two world titles at the same time, but the Brazilian was forced to withdraw from the fight after breaking his foot in training.
A number of fighters were considered for the bout and on Tuesday night it was confirmed that McGregor will fight Diaz with the Dubliner agreeing to meet at the 170-pound welterweight division at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“We figured this would be the most exciting fight. It’s the fight that Conor really wanted. A lot of people wanted to fight Conor McGregor, but Diaz wanted the fight and we figured this was the fight to make and the fight that the fans wanted to see," White told ESPN's 'SportsCenter'.
"We called Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo turned the fight down.
"We called Frankie Edgar, Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. We called ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, (and he) absolutely accepted the fight – would love to take the fight. B.J. Penn said he wanted the fight. A lot of guys wanted this fight, but we ended up with Nate Diaz. We felt this was the fight to make and the fight the fans wanted to see."
While the title is no longer on the line, the fight will remain as the main event at UFC 196, which will also feature the women's bantamweight title bout between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate.