It’s finally official: Conor McGregor will face Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 200 scheduled for July 9th, 2016.

The bout will be a rematch of the UFC 196 headliner where Diaz shocked the world with a second round guillotine choke submission victory over the current UFC featherweight champion. Diaz’s victory snapped McGregor’s unbeaten UFC run and halted his march towards greatness.

McGregor vs. Diaz II

McGregor came to UFC 196 wanting to become a two weight division champion by challenging Rafael Dos Anjos. But Dos Anjos broke his foot two weeks before the contest and the UFC scrambled to find McGregor a legitimate opponent to save the event. Diaz was available and with a guaranteed $500K paycheck, he agreed to step up on such short notice.

Surprisingly, the rematch will be fought at the welterweight limit of 170 pounds, the same weight they fought at during their first bout where McGregor said that he wasn’t efficient with his energy and his coach John Kavanaugh admitted that his fighter gassed because of the bigger weight he carried.

Fight Odds

Unlike the first fight where McGregor was a near 4-1 favorite at -350 against +260, the opening odds for the rematch are much, much closer. Bookies have tagged McGregor as a lean -145 favorite against Diaz’s +115 and they have good reasons.

For one, McGregor struggled putting away the bigger Diaz at UFC 196 despite landing cleanly on him for one and a half rounds. McGregor’s fighting two weight classes above his regular division and while Diaz himself isn’t  full blown welterweight too, he’s carried the weight longer than Conor has.

McGregor mightily struggled on the ground, the moment Nate Diaz forced him off his back. Once Diaz was on top, it was moot and academic that he was going to submit McGregor. While McGregor is one of the sport’s best strikers, his ground game has always been suspect. Diaz’s easy transition to the choke hold proved that was correct.

It will only be less than four months from their first bout when they meet again. During that period, it’s unlikely that McGregor has grown a BJJ game overnight. It’s unlikely too that he’s increased his punching power to that of a welterweight. Having said those, the McGregor-Diaz rematch at UFC 200 could end up the same way.

The UFC also booked an interim featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar as the co-main event. UFC President Dana White says the winner of that bout will definitely face McGregor next for the undisputed 145 pound title regardless of the outcome of McGregor-Diaz 2.

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