So it’s official, the worst kept secret in the UFC has been announced.
A welterweight rematch between Conor McGregor (19-3) and Nate Diaz will officially headline UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas after UFC Tonight announced the official booking on Wednesday.
Nate Diaz (19-10) rocked the UFC world when he stepped in to the octagon and took out the then undefeated McGregor earlier this month at UFC 196, Diaz battled through to submit McGregor via rear-naked choke in the second round to become the only man to record a win against UFC featherweight champion.
The Stockton slugger was drafted in to face McGregor after Rafael dos Anjos pulled out due to injury, with a lack of training camp and only eleven days notice Diaz took on the challenge, the fight took place at welterweight (170 lbs) due lack of time to cut weight.
Soon after the fight, McGregor was quick to reveal his desire to have a rematch with Diaz. Conor McGregor will now get a shot at redemption and chance to avenge his only defeat in the UFC, but the Dubliner will know first hand the risks that Diaz brings.
It will be contested at the 170 lbs welterweight limit again.
Speaking about how the rematch was made, UFC’s president Dana White added:
“After (UFC 196, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta) and I went to Conor’s house he was renting here in Las Vegas and started talking about, ‘What are you thinking? What’s next?'” White said.
“He was obsessed — obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again. Obviously, Lorenzo 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.
“Even his coach (John Kavanagh) tried to get him to get off the rematch and off the 170-pound fight but it’s what he wanted.”
The UFC also announced Wednesday that Aldo will fight former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight belt at UFC 200, a heavyweight bout between former champion Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne has also been added and veteran lightweights Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon will also fight on the card.
According to White, the winner of the interim title fight between Aldo and Edgar will definitely face 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.”
With the rematch being in July, it will give both McGregor and Diaz the opportunity to train specifically to fight each other, after neither was fully prepared the first time.
Conor McGregor had been offered the rematch at 155lbs, but it has been reported that McGregor insisted on having the fight at 170lbs so every knows that he avenged his defeat at the same weight at he lost to Diaz first time around.