It's official: Conor McGregor will get a shot to avenge his loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 200. The July 9 fight in Las Vegas will take place only four months after Diaz handed McGregor his first UFC loss with a rear-naked choke hold at UFC 196.
This is going to be fun. It's also likely to be way different from their first fight. This time, McGregor and Diaz will have months to prepare for each other. Last time McGregor was training for a fight with lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, who broke his foot weeks before the scheduled bout. And Diaz wasn't preparing for anything. He was doing shots on a yacht in Cabo when he got the call about filling in for dos Anjos.
Still, that fight generated a ton of excitement thanks to a raucous build up with two fighters who clearly don't like each other. This time the build up with last months and we'll all be better off for it.
Fight fans have McGregor to thank (or blame) for making this fight happen. On ESPN Wednesday night, UFC head Dana White said that he and McGregor's coach tried to convince the featherweight champion to defend his title in his next fight. They failed. "He was obsessed — obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again," White said.
After relenting, White and McGregor's coach tried to convince him to fight at 155 pounds, the weight at which Diaz typically fights and 10 pounds heavier than the 145 that McGregor typically weighs at fight time. But again, McGregor was having none of it. "He wants to fight at 170," White said.
And what McGregor wants, McGregor gets. "The guy fights anybody, anywhere, anytime," White said. "He's stepped up on late notice and done these things. He wants this Nate Diaz fight? We'll give it to him."
As pleased as Diaz probably is about the fighting McGregor again—he's about to get PAID—he's surely not happy about the fight being contested at 170 pounds. For the past few weeks, he's insisted that that rematch take place at 155 pounds, a weight that allows him to "be cut up." Perhaps more importantly though, fighting at 155 eliminates one of McGregor's excuses if Diaz drops him once again.
With McGregor taking his second fight out of the featherweight class, the UFC also scheduled Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo for an interim featherweight title fight at UFC 200. One thing to note about this fight is that it's not co-main event. White says that's hasn't been announced yet, but when it is "minds will be blown."