Urijah Faber has claimed that UFC president Dana White wanted him to face Conor McGregor at UFC 196 on March 5.
McGregor was originally scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos, but the lightweight champion pulled out of the fight after suffering a broken foot.
Once that happened, Faber said that White called him and wanted him to take Dos Anjos’ spot. However, that did not come to fruition as McGregor chose Nate Diaz as his next opponent.
“Dana called me and offered me the fight. He said I was who he is pushing for,” Faber told Yahoo! Sports. “I accepted [but] Conor ended up wanting Diaz. I was ready. Lean at 158 [pounds].”
Had Faber been chosen to fight McGregor, who was his opposing coach on The Ultimate Fighter 22, he would have barely had two weeks to prepare for the bout. While Faber conceded that he would have been at a disadvantage heading into the fight, he was willing to face McGregor as a win over the undefeated Irishman and reigning featherweight champion would have seen his stock soar.
“I would have been at a big disadvantage, but would have had to use speed and grappling,” Faber said. “[It would have been an] uphill battle, but I don’t care.”