CONFIRMED: Conor McGregor will move up two weight classes to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 196

McGregor will take on Diaz at UFC 196 (Pic: UFC Twitter)
McGregor will take on Diaz at UFC 196 (Pic: UFC Twitter)

The Notorious will face the Californian on March 5 in a welterweight fight after Jose Aldo refused the option of a rematch.

UFC President Dana White has confirmed that Conor McGregor will take on Nate Diaz at UFC 196:

Aldo, the man last conquered by McGregor, did not take up the option of another fight against the reigning featherweight champion, nor did fellow proposed fighter Frankie Edgar.

"We called Jose Aldo; Jose Aldo turned the fight down," White told ESPN SportsCenter as he announced the main event bout. "We called Frankie Edgar; Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. Those are two guys everybody was talking about.

"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."

The main event, which was originally planned to be a lightweight title fight between the Irishman and belt-holder Rafael dos Anjos, will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 5.

Dos Anjos pulled out of the fight yesterday due to breaking his foot while training:

The news means that McGregor must now move up to the 170-pound welterweight class, having last fought in the Octagon at featherweight (145 pounds):

Diaz, with an MMA record of 18-10-0, started the trash talk between the pair early following the news that McGregor would need a new opponent:

Following his disappointed tweet yesterday about the cancelled Dos Anjos fight, McGregor's coach John Kavanagh was significantly more happy today: