It seems things have been going well for the UFC in their negotiations with Nate Diaz, as multiple reports on Saturday have stated the Conor McGregor rematch is close to being finalized for UFC 202 on August 20.
Supporting that talk was an Instagram post from Diaz, giving UFC President Dana White a “Stockton Slap” and saying that deals were getting done.
The UFC has not yet made an official announcement, but the fight would headline the pay-per-view event in Las Vegas in August just over two months after its originally scheduled date at UFC 200. The fight is a rematch of March’s UFC 196 main event, which saw Diaz submit the UFC Featherweight Champion in a welterweight fight on short notice after surviving a significant offensive onslaught from McGregor in the first round and a half. The rematch is also expected to take place at 170 lbs.
McGregor tried to pull some weight with the UFC in April by refusing to fly out to Las Vegas for some media obligations, and the public pissing match ultimately led to him being pulled off the July 9 event. When Diaz said he wasn’t interested in fighting anyone other than McGregor himself, it led to this bout being the one that made sense for the UFC again. There was concern it wouldn’t get done after a meeting with Diaz went poorly, but it appears they’ve mended those fences and are much closer to terms than they were a couple of weeks ago.
Penick’s Analysis: It’s the fight to make now that the Interim Title fight is happening on July 9. Without that Aldo-Edgar fight already being on the docket this fight wouldn’t make nearly as much sense competitively, but it’s clearly the right fight from a business standpoint, and they’ve realized that from the beginning. Now they get a second significant summer buyrate after what should still be a strong UFC 200 card.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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