For Conor McGregor, the thrill of challenging himself is what drives him.
The current UFC featherweight champion knows he is going out on a limb by fighting Nate Diaz at 170 pounds this weekend at UFC 196. But that’s why he competes in this sport.
McGregor, who was scheduled to meet Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title before an injury sidelined him, talked about the task at hand during an appearance on “UFC Tonight.”
“I look forward to it,” McGregor said. “It’s another question for the fans – how to handle the range, size and weight difference? I enjoy answering these questions. I’m the featherweight champion. I could still fight these guys who are identical but I seek challenges.
“I rise up, I went to get the lightweight belt, but it went running from me. So I went up again and will answer more questions for the fans.”
Diaz, who has fought for the lightweight title, is solid on the ground with his jiu-jitsu. That, though, isn’t a concern for McGregor, who believes he will finish the fight there.
“His jiu-jitsu is overrated,” McGregor said. “I see opportunities to pass his guard. I’ll bang it out and I’ll keep it on the feet. When he goes down, he rolls out to get out, I’ll pass his guard, mount him, pound him out or look for the choke.”