A rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will in fact headline UFC 200 this summer.
UFC host and reporter Megan Olivi confirmed the news on FOX Sports 1 Wednesday. The matchup was first reported by MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani earlier this month
Diaz, who was a late replacement for injured lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, submitted McGregor late in the second round of their UFC 196 main event bout.
Even though McGregor is the UFC’s featherweight (145-pound division) champion and Diaz is a natural lightweight (155-pound division), their fight took place at the welterweight limit of 170 pounds. What’s somewhat puzzling is the rematch will take place at welterweight once again.
Monetarily speaking, an immediate rematch is a no-brainer. UFC president Dana White told ESPN Radio in the days following UFC 196 that the MMA promotion “broke so many records,” before adding, “It was the biggest pay-per-view we ever did. Social media was ridiculous.”
A rematch, on what will be the most anticipated UFC card since UFC 100 no less, would in all likelihood break even more records for the company.
From a competitive standpoint, however, an immediate rematch raises questions because the first fight was not controversial in any way. Diaz won fair and square. An immediate rematch in a situation like this is extremely rare.
The day after his loss, McGregor released a memorable statement in which he said, “Nate I will see you again,” indicating his desire for a rematch at some point. However, at the post-fight press conference McGregor mentioned he thought he’d drop back down to 145 pounds for his next bout and defend his featherweight title — either in a rematch with Jose Aldo or against top contender Frankie Edgar.
Since McGregor is fighting Diaz again, the UFC has decided to add an interim featherweight title bout between Aldo and Edgar to UFC 200.
Aldo (25-2) is coming off his first loss in more than a decade when McGregor knocked him out in 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December. Edgar (20–4–1) has won five straight in the featherweight division. Aldo beat Edgar by unanimous decision when the two fought at UFC 156 in 2013.
UFC 200 is scheduled to take place July 9 at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Other fights in the works for that event include Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne, Derek Brunson vs. Gegard Mousasi and Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Lauzon.