As you likely recall, after Conor McGregor was tapped out by Nate Diaz earlier this month, all the talk was about who the Irish star would face at 145. After all, following the defeat, McGregor had said he planned to defend the featherweight title…So what happened?
On Wednesday, the UFC confirmed what was recently reported: McGregor will face Diaz again at UFC 200 on July 9th. The bout will once again go down at 170 pounds. Not only that, but the promotion also announced that Jose Aldo will battle Frankie Edgar for the interim 145 title.
Dana White also spoke to ESPN about the confirmed match-ups, and the UFC boss man said that McGregor was “obsessed” with fighting Diaz again. In addition, White had this to say, in terms of why they’ve decided to go this route (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“Conor McGregor is a guy who has had fights fall out seven days before he’s supposed to defend his title, and he steps up and he takes on all comers,” White said. “The guy fights anybody, anywhere, anytime. He’s stepped up on late notice and done the these things. He wants this Nate Diaz fight? We’ll give it to him. We’ll make Frankie (Edgar) and Jose (Aldo) for the interim title, and whoever wins that fight will then fight Conor McGregor for the 145-pound title.”
There you have it. Now did money play into this? Um, yeah, that’s likely. Although, McGregor – Edgar would have been huge, and even McGregor – Aldo II would have done just fine as well.
But, in the long term, this decision to go with Diaz – McGregor II could cut both ways. While McGregor could go onto have a lengthy reign as featherweight champ, if he loses to Diaz a second time, his stock will definitely take another hit. If McGregor wins, however, then the UFC can move full speed ahead with a variety of all-star match-ups.
UFC 200 will be hosted by the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.