Saturday 24 September 2016

Conor McGregor v Nate Diaz: Rematch confirmed for July in bumper UFC 200 card

Published 31/03/2016 | 01:11

Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Conor McGregor suffered his first defeat in the UFC after being choked out by Nate Diaz
Nate Diaz celebrates after defeating Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Conor McGregor. Photo: Getty Images
Conor McGregor after his defeat to Nate Diaz in their welterweight bout. SPORTSFILE
Nate Diaz after his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 196
Conor McGregor
McGregor
Conor McGregor takes some punishment from Nate Diaz during their welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. Pic: Mark Rebilas/Sportsfile

Conor McGregor will get a chance to avenge his defeat against Nate Diaz after it was confirmed a re-match will take place in the newly built T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas on July 9th.

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It has been widely anticipated in recent days that Dubliner McGregor and Diaz would sign up for a second battle as the headline act at UFC 200 and now that showdown has been confirmed by UFC chiefs.

McGregor had hinted that he might be tempted to drop down the featherweight division for a possible re-match with Jose Aldo, who he beat in spectacular fashion to become UFC champion at that weight last December.

Yet he has instead opted for a second scrap with Diaz at the 170lbs weight limited, which will concern many of his supporters who were calling for this fight to be made at a 155lbs weight.

McGregor appeared to have more power to trouble his opponents in the 145lbs division, with these comments suggesting he was not as comfortable as he would have hoped to be at higher weight.

In another mouth-watering clash, Jose Aldo will take on Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight belt.

“At the end of the day, I am the featherweight champion,” he said after his loss to Diaz. “I feel it is only right to go back down and remind them of what I achieved and what I have done in that division.

“But, I am not forgetting the 155lbs division. I am not forgetting about the 170lbs division, I think next is probably to go back down, and defend my featherweight crown.”

There have been suggestions that McGregor may struggle to drop down to 145lbs to take on Aldo once again, even though the duo have been trading insults on social media in recent months.

So it is the rematch with Diaz that has now been accepted by McGregor, who may head into the bout as an underdog after he was forced to tap out to his rear-naked choke in Las Vegas on March 7th.

The huge success of McGregor v Diaz I was confirmed as UFC chief Dana White confirmed his organisation sold are 1.5 million pay-per-view packages, with the second bout expected to produce a similar windfall for the two fighters and the UFC.

The UFC 200 event looks set to attract a huge audience around the world, with Brazilian Jose Aldo returning to action as he takes on Frankie Edgar in an eagerly anticipated clash.

Expect the trash talking between McGregor and Diaz to kick into overdrive once again in the coming weeks, with the drive to promote this rematch now officially underway.

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