It’s official: Conor McGregor has been bumped off UFC 200.
The Conor McGregor drama is finally over. The UFC Featherweight champion will NOT be fighting at UFC 200. This after UFC President Dana White announced on Wednesday that the rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier will be the new headliner for the UFC’s biggest event.
UFC 200 was supposed to be another Conor McGregor hit but after the Irishman refused to fly to the U.S. last week to promote the event, UFC President Dana White decided to pull him out of the fight card for disciplinary reasons. With McGregor out, opponent Nate Diaz decided to take a vacation instead of fighting someone else. Faced with the dilemma, White decided to resurrect what was supposed to be the main event of UFC 200.
The Jones-Cormier rematch was shelved after DC suffered an injury during training. As a result, Jones went on to face Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 last weekend and he walked away with a one-sided unanimous decision win to capture the interim Lightheavyweight title. After the win, Jones offered to fight at UFC 200 and with the medical clearance from his left foot x-ray expected to be favorable, the UFC announced the bout during Wednesday’s Good Morning America show.
Jones wasn’t impressive against Saint Preux last weekend but that was mainly because he hadn’t fought in over a year. Brushes with the law prevented Jones from fighting after UFC 182 but after his reinstatement last year, he set his sights on reclaiming the the belt he never lost inside the octagon. Jones is 22-1 in his MMA career, with his one loss coming off a disqualification (due to 12-6 elbows). He is considered the #1 Pound for Pound fighter in the planet and is the youngest champ in UFC history. Jones defended the 205 title 8 times before he was stripped.
Odds and Pick
On the other hand, Cormier is 17-1, with his one loss coming from Jones at UFC 182. The former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner beat Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 187 to win the title vacated after Jones was stripped. He’s defended it once, beating Alexander Gustafsson by split decision at UFC 192.
Despite Cormier’s recent success and Jones’ prolonged absence, Jon still opened as a big -275 favorite to repeat over DC. Cormier is a +210 to beat Jones. Now those are even bigger odds as Jones was only a -192 during their first encounter. Having said that, the lines will still change as the weeks pass but it’s unlikely that Bones will be an underdog against a man he handily beat in 2015.