There were mixed reactions in the MMA world last night when UFC President Dana White announced the official card for UFC 200 which will take place on the 9th July in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas. The main event was the focus of many rumors over the past few weeks with Conor McGregor, the front runner to be featuring in it. It was unclear however who his opponent may be. After his welterweight defeat to Nate Diaz during UFC 196 on March 5th, many MMA critics and fans alike were of the opinion that McGregor should retreat to the featherweight division, defend his belt and give another fighter like Jose Also or Frankie Edgar a shot at the title.
Defeat is not something that sits well with McGregor with an MMA record of 19 wins versus three losses and a UFC record of 7 wins and only one loss. As the days passed after his defeat it was rumored that Conor would only be happy if his next fight was a rematch against Diaz at welterweight. McGregor wanted the exact same conditions as the initial fight at UFC 196 to prove that he could win, not just for the fans but to satisfy his new obsession – beating Nate Diaz.
McGregor gets his way
It looks like McGregor has gotten his wish with Dana White announcing McGregor vs. Diaz II as the main event for UFC 200. UFC 200 is set to be the biggest sporting event of this year and the decision to have these two fighters in the event event in a non-title fight was taken by surprise.
Many fans took to Twitter expressing delight and excitement at the prospect of the rematch while others expressed disappointment bordering on disgust that this indeed was the choice for the biggest UFC card of the year.
Is Mc Gregor making the right decision?
Dana White was quoted saying that McGregor was pretty much the only person who wanted this fight to happen at 170lbs despite Dana White, CEO of the UFC Lorenzo Fertitta and Conor’s own coach, John Kavanagh all trying to talk him out of the rematch at welterweight. However, McGregor got what he wanted which opens up a whole avenue of thought that McGregor has more influence on the UFC as an organisation and the decisions they make regarding fight cards than any other fighter has. There is no proof that Conor McGregor has more influence on decisions made on fight cards than other fighters of course but from the outside looking in, one can only conclude that it sure does look that way.
Nate Diaz has had a long and semi-successful career as a fighter with the UFC however his victory over McGregor has catapulted him into the spotlight and he is eager to beat the Irishman once more. Nate has come out and accused the UFC of ‘babying McGregor’ and giving him whatever he wants but he has absolutely no qualms about the rematch and seems as ready as ever to take on McGregor for a second time. Given that Diaz accepted the fight against McGregor at UFC 196 with just under less than two weeks’ notice, he firmly believes that with a training camp behind him he will be unstoppable.
What will happen to the UFC if McGregor loses the rematch?
There is no doubt that McGregor talks the talk before any of his fights and 9 times out of 10 he has delivered on his words. The fight against Diaz was different though and he admitted to using his energy ineffectively. So can he learn from his mistakes for UFC 200 or is he just not destined to fight at welterweight? Another loss for McGregor could effectively end how he influences fans, other fighters and the UFC. Another loss for McGregor would be the end of the McGregor reign as we know it. On the flip side of this possibility is what it would do for Nate Diaz and his career. Nate personally feels he has not been given the privileges McGregor has and now he is finally proving that he deserves them.
A look at the rest of the card:
The other fight on the UFC 200 card that has created a lot of attention is that of José Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar II. This featherweight fight is an interim title shot as McGregor still holds the belt for this weight category. This fight has not been named as the co-main event however some fans and MMA critics are referring to it as the unofficial co-main event. Aldo and Edgar were two of the fighters rumored to be lined up for McGregor and once again a lot of fans took to Twitter expressing their views. Some fans are excited with the prospect of a fierce battle between these two great fighters while others felt Frankie Edgar had been dealt a raw deal and deserved a title shot against McGregor at featherweight as opposed to the interim title shot against Aldo.
Another possibility that may still arise is that a title shot fight may be added to the card closer to the time. With McGregor vs. Diaz being the main event as a non-title event, there’s still room on the busy card for a potential title fight.
There is no doubt whatever decisions are made regarding the fight card before UFC 200 on July 9th, it is set to be the biggest, most exciting sporting event this year.
UFC 200 Fight Card so far:
- Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor
- José Also vs. Frankie Edgar
- Travis Browne vs. Cain Velasquez
- Derek Brunson vs Gegard Mousasi
- Joe Lauzon vs Diego Sanchez
- Kelvin Gastelum vs. Johnny Hendricks
- Takanori Gomi vs. Jim Miller