It appears Conor McGregor may not be heading back to featherweight just yet, as MMAFighting.com reports that the UFC is targeting a rematch between McGregor and Nate Diaz in a non-title welterweight fight for UFC 200.
The two fought earlier this month at UFC 196, with Diaz submitting McGregor in the second round after taking significant damage throughout the opening round and a half of the fight. A humbled McGregor said afterward he would head back down to featherweight to defend his title, and the conversation turned to Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar; now, they’re once again left without that matchup.
Diaz took the fight on less than two weeks notice after the injury to Rafael dos Anjos, and just three months after an impressive lightweight win over Michael Johnson. Playing the perfect foil to McGregor in the condensed lead up to the event, Diaz helped boost the card to becoming one of the UFC’s biggest ever pay-per-view events, with Dana White stating the event did 1.5 million pay-per-view buys. It’s coming in second only to 2009’s UFC 100 event.
UFC 200 hits Las Vegas on July 9 on pay-per-view, the culmination of several months of big fights, and the third of three straight Las Vegas events that week.
Penick’s Analysis: I don’t like this at all. Not at welterweight, anyway. If they booked it at lightweight, a more natural spot for McGregor to begin with, that would be one thing, but it was clear at UFC 196 that welterweight wasn’t where he should be. His power doesn’t translate as well up there, he tired himself out by trying to throw everything into his punches, and it didn’t work for him. Diaz isn’t a small lightweight, and he’s had some success at 170 lbs. before. The Featherweight Title should be defended, let the higher weight experiment end for now until he gets back on track.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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