Irish MMA fighter Chris Fields speaks to Off The Ball to talk about a much anticipated bout at UFC 200
Despite expectations that Conor McGregor would return to featherweight to defend his title, it looks increasingly likely that his return to the Octagon at UFC 200 will be a rematch against Nate Diaz, the fighter who humbled him in Las Vegas earlier this month.
But why take on that particular fight, and does the Dubliner stand a chance of doing what he was unable to at UFC196?
Irish MMA and SBG gym fighter Chris Fields joined Off The Ball and admitted that he was surprised, having expected McGregor to take on Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar.
"I didn't see this coming. I knew it was something Conor wanted. I know myself as a fighter if you get a loss, the first thing you want to do is get that monkey off your back basically and get back in there. Especially with how well he did in the first round, he's obviously thinking it's there to be won," he said.
The rematch could be at 170lb which is a risk for McGregor as it seems to tip the scales in Diaz's favour. But Fields sees McGregor's willingness to take the risk as a sign of his courage in choosing opponents.
"You've really got to appreciate [that]. Most guys run away from guys they lose to, if they lost to a guy the last thing they want to do is to fight that guy again" Fields said, although he expects the fight could well take place at 155lb because it suits Diaz, McGregor and the UFC.
Fields added that he may have misjudged just how much his power would translate to a different weight, and explained how cutting weight impacts on the ability to withstand shots.
"It's why I'd rather see him at 155lbs because I feel that is his natural weight where he'd still be cutting a little but not too much," he said, while Fields also praised Diaz's ability to take shots in his UFC career.
"We've all seen what Conor's shots do to people, and Diaz took them [...] I stupidly, and I'll admit it, thought Conor was going to walk in there, land something and it would be over".
Fields added that Diaz would be the bookies' favourite, but he expects a more patient approach from McGregor early on rather than "trying to take Nate's head off from the first shot which it looked like he tried to do last time".