Diaz-McGregor rematch set for UFC 200 in July
MANILA, Philippines – Conor McGregor will have the chance to settle the score against Nate Diaz as both men are booked to headline the UFC 200 pay-per-view event on July 10 (July 9 in the US).
The fight booking was publicly confirmed during the broadcast of "UFC Tonight" on Thursday, March 31 (Manila time).
Diaz, who stepped in as a replacement for the injured Rafael dos Anjos on 11 days' notice, shocked the world by submitting the organization's featherweight titleholder in a welterweight bout at UFC 196 on March 5.
But Diaz absorbed significant punishment from McGregor as he was on the receiving end of left hands and uppercuts.
The 30-year-old native of Stockton, California entered the second round bleeding from a cut near his right eye, but he remained unfazed and kept throwing punches until McGregor shot for a desperate takedown.
After bailing on a guillotine choke, Diaz positioned himself to full mount and compelled McGregor to surrender his back for a rear-naked choke at the 4:12 mark of the second round.
The second meeting will be contested at welterweight once again as McGregor is reportedly "obsessed" with defeating Diaz at 170 pounds.
"He was obsessed. Obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again. Obviously, [UFC CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta] and I tried to argue with him and said, 'Let's go back to 145 [pounds] and defend your title. Or if you really want the Diaz fight that bad, do it at 155.' He wants the fight at 170. Even his coach tried to get him to get off the rematch and off the 170-pound fight," UFC president Dana White revealed in an interview on ESPN's Sports Center.
With McGregor unable to defend the featherweight belt for the foreseeable future, an interim title tilt between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar has also been set for UFC 200.
White admitted that stripping McGregor of the gold-plated strap was never an option, but he guaranteed that the 27-year-old Irishman will face the winner of the Aldo-Edgar encounter.
"Win, lose, or draw in this fight against Nate Diaz, [McGregor] will go in and fight either Jose or Frankie. Whoever wins at UFC 200," he stated.
Also confirmed for UFC 200 is the return of former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who takes on Travis Browne.
Meanwhile, ex-welterweight kingpin Johny Hendricks locks horns with Kelvin Gastelum.
UFC 200 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. – Rappler.com