Chances are you remember where you were the night Nate Diaz submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 196, as the fight was one of the most memorable and biggest scraps in UFC history. But, as it turns out, the promotion was also looking at Urijah Faber for the headlining spot.
The original main event was supposed to feature McGregor taking on Rafael dos Anjos, who at the time, was the reigning, lightweight champ. But, RDA had to pull out of the March 5th, 2016 event a few weeks out due to injury. Diaz agreed to step up and the rest is history.
But, one thing which wasn’t widely known, until now, is that Faber was also in the mix for the fight. During a Q&A last week in Shanghai, China, the Sacramento star reported this (quote via MMA Mania):
“Actually, a lot of people don’t know that I was offered a fight with Conor McGregor – the same fight that Nate Diaz got, and I was going to go up two weight classes and fight him on three weeks’ notice.”
“Dana said he was going to give that fight to me, and Conor wanted Nate – and you saw what happened there.”
That would’ve been a good pay day, and it would’ve been a lot of fun,” Faber added. “I like Conor a lot, but as you know he’s a good fight for anybody these days. It would’ve been nice to have had that fight even though it would’ve been up two weight classes and on short notice. I’m always game for a challenge like that.”
This is indeed, pretty interesting to hear, although, it’s not surprising at all that Faber was up for the fight. Not only because of “The California Kid’s” abilities and toughness, but because, as he noted, it would have provided him with a pretty sizeable pay check.
But, having to move up two weight classes to fight McGregor, would have been a stiff test. Faber also reportedly said that he would have been looking to take McGregor to the floor, which of course, also isn’t surprising.
As you surely know, McGregor was granted a rematch with Diaz in August, and in the second bout, he received a majority decision win. Faber, meanwhile, hung up the gloves last December after earning a decision win over Brad Pickett.