It’s official. Conor McGregor will touch gloves with Nate Diaz again in one of the most controversial welterweight rematches of all time as the headline fight for UFC 200 in July.
In the aftermath of one of the UFC’s most shocking defeats, it looked like McGregor would head back down to featherweight having taken the division by storm over the past few years.
However, according to MMA Fighting, a UFC Tonight broadcast made the immediate rematch with Diaz official following speculation last week that the pair would fight again.
Earlier this month, Diaz submitted McGregor at UFC 196 with a second-round rear-naked choke.
McGregor was originally due to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title at the event, but dos Anjos was forced to withdraw from the card just 11 days beforehand.
Though the rematch has now attained the go ahead, it seems that McGregor was just about the only person that wanted the rematch to take place.
According to UFC President Dana White – UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh, and even White himself all tried to talk the Irishman into defending his featherweight title next – or at the very least, fighting Diaz at lightweight.
However, White says McGregor was ‘obsessed’ with getting his win back and ‘The Notorious’ has chosen to go against all advice and take on Diaz once more.
The bitter rematch is not the only huge showdown going down on July 9, as José Aldo is set to fight against Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight belt.
Former champ Aldo and Edgar are arguably the two biggest challengers to McGregor’s 145 pound title.
Plenty of former champions are also due to feature on the undercard.
Cain Velasquez will take on Travis Browne in a pivotal heavyweight bout, while former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks will meet Kelvin Gastelum.
Former WWE superstar CM Punk’s scheduled Octagon debut against Mickey Gall, however, is unlikely to go down at the massive UFC 200 event, as he is still recovering from back surgery.
UFC 200 is due to take place on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.