UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) sets to break another record for UFC 196 when he reportedly earned a million dollars for stepping into the octagon with Nate Diaz (18-10 MMA, 13-8 UFC), reported MSN. According to the documents released by Nevada Athletic Commission, Conor will earn a disclosed purse of $1 million against Nick Diaz; however, he will not receive a bonus if/when he wins the fight. Nate Diaz won’t make nearly as much as McGregor; his purse is $500,000, and he will not earn a bonus should he win the bout.
Diaz will be the next fighter to face off against McGregor for Saturday’s main event on PPV at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. This fight is the highest-paid fight ever in UFC history. Previous to this fight, the highest paid event was Anderson Silva vs. Nate Diaz; Silva was paid $800,000 in UFC 183.
Here is full spread of disclosed UFC payouts to Nevada commission for tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/kCRQi0g8o3
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 5, 2016
Bantamweight champ Holly Holm (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will defend her title in a bout against Miesha Tate (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC). Holm will receive a flat $500,000. Tate makes the least amount of the main event fighters at $46,000 to show up and another $46,000 if she wins the bout. Miesha is the underdog, and her odds of winning are not great. Dana White, the UFC president, stated that Holly shouldn’t count Tate out yet because she has heart and determination, which makes her a very dangerous fighter.
— SPIN South West (@SPINSouthWest) March 6, 2016
Dana White told MMA Mania that McGregor will probably stay at welterweight and not return to the featherweight division. And, that’s not all. White is betting that Conor will defeat Diaz in an impressive win. The buzz on social media is that Conor will not only win the bout with Diaz, but he will destroy him.
“I think if he wins impressively [Saturday], he doesn’t even go back to 45. That’s what I think. That weight cut is horrible for him. He looks terrible. I’m sure he feels terrible. I think he stays at 170 if he wins tomorrow.”
If you compare the pictures of Conor as a featherweight at 145 pounds, and now at 168 pounds, there is no denying that the champ looks healthier and stronger at the higher weight. Providing he can pull off another huge win, McGregor will not go back to the featherweight division. White commented that he expects McGregor to stay in the welterweight division because he looks much more natural.
Great split screen shot of Conor McGregor before he fought Jose Aldo and what he looks like now. pic.twitter.com/A50A6ua2N8
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) March 3, 2016
Even at McGregor’s lowest weight (UFC 189, 145 pounds, fighting Urijah Faber), Conor has never had any performance problems. In fact, the opposite was true; at 145 pounds, he was stronger than ever, proving that no matter what weight class he fought in, he was a dangerous fighter. Conor has stated that he wants a title fight with Robbie Lawler, who has held the welterweight title since UFC 181 in 2014.
Conor isn’t ready to give up his featherweight title, yet. However, White said that if he anticipates staying in the heavier weight class long-term, McGregor likely would not have a problem with relinquishing his title so someone else can earn it.
“Listen, when you’re dealing with Conor McGregor, he’s a smart guy. He gets business. He’s not unreasonable about anything and he will fight anybody, anywhere at any time. How can anybody have a problem with that? When you’re dealing with super talented people, they’re always going to be quirky and different in their own ways. But no matter what you are, when you act and fight and step up for anything the way Conor does, you can’t deny the kid.”
Conor McGregor has his career riding on the fight against Nate Diaz. Not only does he have to prove he was worth the $1 million purse, but if he pulls off an impressive win, Dana White has also promised him a title bout with Robbie Lawler. It all hinges on who wins UFC 196: Conor McGregor or Nate Diaz.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]