There was a whole bunch of questions being asked in the lead up to UFC 196, as UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor prepared to take on Rafael dos Anjos, in an attempt to make UFC history. The lightweight belt was on the line, and the Irish superstar was all set to duke it out with his Brazilian rival, until the injury bug struck again. With ‘RDA’ out, Nate Diaz was drafted in and the welterweight main event was made official on just 11 days notice.
The consensus opinion was that Diaz would be out of shape, and essentially feature as the bitter half of a pay-per-view squash match. How wrong the consensus was, as the Stockton native battered and submitted McGregor in the second round of a thrilling affair. We asked the question before UFC 196, what happens if Nate Diaz beats Conor McGregor? The obvious answer was that ‘The Notorious’ would be sent packing back to featherweight, to finally defend his belt, once again we were very wrong.
Less than two weeks after their first fight had transpired was the shocking news that the two fierce rivals had agreed to fight again, this time at the milestone UFC 200 card. Again at 170 pounds, the announcement came as both confusing and frustrating to many hardcore fans of mixed martial arts and the UFC. With the featherweight division put on hold yet again, it was clear that the McGregor effect was still a massively controlling factor for the promotion. And yet again, we ask the question, what happens if Nate Diaz destroys Conor McGregor (again)?
Here’s our highly speculative outcomes:
Back to featherweight
So the first and perhaps most obvious outcome of another loss to Nate Diaz would be that Conor McGregor would head back to the 145-pound division to defend his belt. The championship he won from Jose Aldo at UFC 194 is begging to be once again legitimized, but let’s not overlook how rarely it was defended back when ‘Scarface’ was on top. Of course with Aldo now a contender, and also Frankie Edgar screaming for a crack at the whip, it’s no wonder some fans are in disarray at the current booking of Diaz vs. McGregor 2.
To illustrate the point on how often Aldo defended the belt, this:
MCGREGOR NEEDS TO DEFEND HIS BELT! HE’S HOLDING AN ENTIRE DIVISION HOSTAGE! pic.twitter.com/JIwXaU50i2
— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) March 19, 2016
So things could be a lot worse, and McGregor has not pulled out of a UFC fight yet.