The UFC are reported to be targeting an immediate rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz to take headline duties at the blockbuster UFC 200 event in Las Vegas on July 9th.
The rumour comes from MMAfighting.com’s Ariel Helwani who claims that if all goes according to plan the fight should be officially announced soon.
McGregor had originally been scheduled to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title at UFC 196, but after the champion pulled out he agreed instead to fight Diaz on less than two weeks notice at 170lbs instead.
‘The Notorious’ started the fight well enough and had opened up a nasty cut on Diaz’s face by the end of the first round, but he began to tire in the second stanza and was rocked by punches before a sloppy takedown led to Diaz tapping him out by rear-naked choke.
Backstage after the fight McGregor indicated that he might look to move back down to featherweight to defend his title next, but he’s since noted that he is still interested in having another go at Diaz, and it looks like that’s now the bout that the UFC are looking to book.
Interestingly, the word is that the UFC are looking to have the fight take place at welterweight again. That would seem to be a very risky move for McGregor, though if he could overcome Diaz at the second attempt it would silence all his newly found critics.
As for Diaz, if this fight is made then it would appear to back up a recent claim he made after his victory.
“I feel like, honest, I feel like the UFC wants to weed me the f— out of this position,” Diaz told ESPN a few days ago.
“I don’t think it’s just the UFC,” Diaz continued. “It’s everybody. People are saying, ‘Oh, [McGregor] is great, he’s accepted the loss so well.’ If I would have lost, people would be saying, ‘piece of s— shouldn’t have accepted the fight.’ I don’t mean to be bitter, but there are a lot of excuses being made for this guy. He’s talking about winning the first round. There are five rounds in a fight. Who gives a s— if you won a round? You lost.”
Still, Diaz has also been saying that he wants the biggest fight possible next for the biggest possible pay cheque, and a rematch with McGregor to headline UFC 200 would tick all the boxes.