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Nate Diaz scrum: I was supposed to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 189, 'but they backed out' (Video)

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Long before Conor McGregor and Chael Sonnen captivated the mixed martial arts (MMA) masses with their lightning rod personas, there was the brash Californian Nate Diaz, who faces the No. 6-ranked lightweight Michael Johnson at the UFC on FOX 17 mixed martial arts (MMA) event this Saturday night (Dec. 19, 2015) in Orlando, Florida.

The former lightweight title challenger has fallen on hard times of late, having only competed twice in the last two years. The 30-year-old veteran also hasn't notched back-to-back wins since 2011.

Despite that, the Diaz name still holds weight among the hardcore fans of MMA, as he looks to right the ship against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 12 runner-up Johnson.

In advance of their scintillating clash, check out these snippets from the above Diaz media scrum in "Sunshine State."

First, Diaz discussed the events that took place back in April when he reportedly signed a contract to tangle with Matt Brown.

"The communication between me and the UFC was really messed up. Somebody was talking to someone and I was like, 'yeah, that sounds like a fight people would love. That sounds like a fight that would really f--k me up, or him vice-versa, which is the type of fight if I was a fan or somebody I'd want to see."

Later on, Diaz made mention of his feelings towards the lack of promotion the entire card has gotten in the afterglow of last week's three-day, three-event blockbuster extravaganza, which culminated with the immensely hyped UFC 194 pay-per-view (PPV).

"There's no press conference. Dana White's not here. There's a bunch of good fighters on the card compared to the last one. The sh-t last week was blown out of proportion because the UFC made it that way. Where's the love on this show? There should be 50 of you people like there was last week. This is the show to watch. Conor McGregor's been saying all the same sh-t that I've been saying for the last five years and the UFC is pushing that. And then when I say some sh-t like that, they're like 'put him on the end of the year card.'"

Lastly, the younger brother of the Diaz duo dished on the Conor McGregor act, as well as how close he came to actually filling in for Jose Aldo at UFC 189 back in July.

"He talks all that money fight sh-t, he knows where it's at. It's not these funny guys fighting in the main event. These guys got punked out at that press conference. He already beat them. That's a win. If he wants to fight a real fight, he knows where that's at. When [Jose] Aldo pulled out last time, they called me from every angle saying that I was going to be the only one he fights. They backed out on that because I announced it before them and they didn't like that."

For more UFC on FOX 17 news and notes click here.