The worst kept fight announcement in recent memory is now official, as the UFC made Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 2 official for the headlining bout at the July 9 megacard, UFC 200. The bout, plus several others, was confirmed on Wednesday night’s UFC Tonight.
As expected the bout will take place out 170 pounds… because that’s the way McGregor wanted it.
It sounds as if the entire idea of the rematch was because of McGregor, as UFC reporter Megan Olivi reported on UFC Tonight that Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta said he was obsessed with the rematch and especially at welterweight. White, Feritta, and McGregor coach John Kavanagh all reportedly tried to talk the Irishman into fighting at 155 pounds, but he would have none of it. He lost to Diaz at 170 pounds and wants to avenge the loss under the same terms.
With the featherweight champion fighting at welterweight again, holding up the 145-pound strap, the UFC decided to add a featherweight interim championship to the UFC 200 card pitting former champ Jose Aldo against top contender Frankie Edgar.
Aldo lost the belt to McGregor in December in a 13-second shocker, while Edgar has long been mowing down everybody but the featherweight champion. Both fighters have been clamoring for a shot at the belt. Their bout, however, will be for the interim title, with the promise of a unifying fight with McGregor down the road.
Several other rumored UFC 200 bouts were confirmed on UFC Tonight as well. Former heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez will square off with Travis Browne, Joe Lauzon will fight Diego Sanchez, Gegard Mousasi faces Derek Brunson, former welterweight titleholder Johnny Hendricks steps in the cage with Kelvin Gastelum, and Takanori Gomi meets Jim Miller.
Though no other fights were revealed, Olivi said that there are expected to be several title fights on the card, which thus far features only one: the interim featherweight championship between Aldo and Edgar.
Expect several more fight announcements in the coming weeks.