It was a busy Tuesday at UFC headquarters.
Early in the day, it was reported that UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos had broken his foot while training for his UFC 196 main event fight against featherweight champion Conor McGregor. The injury forced dos Anjos to withdraw from the March 5 fight.
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 24, 2016
With less than two weeks before fight night, the UFC brass got to work finding a fighter that would step up on short notice to face McGregor. Lucky for them, they had a number of candidates raising their hands for the opportunity to headline UFC 196 opposite McGregor.
— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) February 23, 2016
" I know a guy " @ elevate PHW https://t.co/AHmTf4vu81
— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) February 23, 2016
— Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) February 23, 2016
According to UFC president Dana White, who appeared on ESPN late Tuesday night, the fight was offered to both former featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. However, they both turned down the fight.
With those two out of the mix, the promotion decided that No. 5 ranked lightweight Nate Diaz was the right man for the job.
In case you forgot, Diaz was the fighter that called out McGregor in December.
"He talks all that money fight s–t, he knows where it's at," Diaz said. "It's right here. It's not these guys fighting in the main event. The main event's right here. These guys already got punked out at that press conference. He already beat them. That's a win.
"If he wants to fight a real fight, he knows where's it at, he knows where the money fight's at. It's right here."
The fight will be contested at the welterweight limit of 170 pounds due to the short notice nature of the bout, and even though it is not a title fight, it will remain the main event of UFC 196, which will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Even though the fight is fast approaching, fans can expect some verbal fireworks between these two before they step into the Octagon on March 5.