Conor MGregor will take on Nate Diaz at UFC 196 on 5 March after Rafael dos Anjos withdrew due to injury. A broken foot forced Dos Anjos to pull out of his lightweight title defence with McGregor, who is now moving up to welterweight for his quickly arranged bout with Diaz, two weight classes up from his featherweight title victory over Jose Aldo in December 2015.

Aldo, who lasted just 13 seconds before being knocked out against the Dublin-born fighter, was approached over a rematch at the card in Las Vegas in 11 days but turned the offer down.

"We figured this would be the most exciting fight," White told ESPN's SportsCenter. "It's the fight that Conor really wanted. A lot of people wanted to fight Conor McGregor but Diaz wanted the fight and we figured this was the fight to make and the fight that the fans wanted to see."

He added: "We called Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo turned the fight down. We called Frankie Edgar, Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. We called 'Cowboy' Cerrone [and he] absolutely accepted the fight – would love to take the fight. BJ Penn said he wanted the fight.

"A lot of guys wanted this fight but we ended up with Nate Diaz. We felt this was the fight to make and the fight the fans wanted to see."

Aldo's camp have since added the fighter would not be ready to step in for the rematch at such short notice.