After suffering his first loss in UFC, the biggest name in mixed martial arts will get his chance at revenge. The rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz has been set for the main event of UFC 200 in Las Vegas on July 9.
Diaz defeated McGregor at UFC 196 on March 5, forcing the featherweight champ to tap out to a rear-naked choke in the second round. McGregor lost after making the jump from 145 pounds to 170 pounds in less than three months. Moving up two weight classes seemed to put him at a noticeable disadvantage, but McGregor insisted that he fight Diaz at welterweight once again.
"He was obsessed -- obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again," UFC president Dana White said on "Sportscenter" on Wednesday. "Obviously, 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 (pounds).' He wants the fight at 170."
McGregor was initially supposed to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the 155-pound title at UFC 196, but a broken foot forced the lightweight champion to withdraw from the pay-per-view. Diaz took the fight on 10 days’ notice, asking to fight McGregor at 170 pounds.
The top ranking members of UFC might have wanted McGregor to stay away from another 170-pound fight, but they seem to have no problem putting the fight on the UFC 200 card after seeing what UFC 196 did. White has called it the “biggest pay-per-view” in the company’s history, and it generated around 1.5 million buys.
McGregor won the featherweight title with a quick knockout of Jose Aldo at UFC 194, but he’s yet to defend the belt. Aldo and Frankie Edgar, the top two contenders for the championship, will fight at UFC 200 with the interim featherweight title on the line.
Before Aldo was knocked out by McGregor in just 13 seconds, he had gone undefeated for 10 years. Edgar lost a title match to Aldo when he first moved to featherweight in 2013, but he’s since won five consecutive fights at 145 pounds. The winner will earn a fight with McGregor next.
"Win, lose or draw in this fight against Nate Diaz, (McGregor) will go in and fight either Jose or Frankie," White said. "Whoever wins at UFC 200."
Diaz was a heavy underdog when he fought McGregor a few weeks ago, but he was made a slight favorite when the UFC 200 fight was announced.