The UFC has made official it’s first set of fights for the July 9 UFC 200 event, with Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz at 170 lbs. for the main event, Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar for the the Interim Featherweight Championship, Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne, Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Lauzon, Gegard Mousasi vs. Derek Brunson, Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum, and Takanori Gomi vs. Jim Miller all confirmed for the event on Wednesday’s UFC Tonight program on Fox Sports 1.
McGregor-Diaz, Velasquez-Brown, Sanchez-Lauzon, Mousasi-Brunson, and Hendricks-Gastelum had all been previously reported, while Aldo-Edgar II and Gomi-Miller are brand new additions to the historic card at Las Vegas’ new T-Mobile Arena.
The UFC and even McGregor’s coaches pushed him to take the Diaz rematch at 155 lbs., but he insisted on 170 lbs. for the fight to keep conditions what they were for the first fight at UFC 196. Diaz upset McGregor on 11 days notice, taking a ton of damage before securing a rear naked choke in the second round.
With McGregor remaining away from the featherweight division, the UFC is allowing Edgar and Aldo to compete for an Interim Title, pitting them in a rematch of a title fight from February of 2013. Aldo won that first fight, and defended the title several more times before losing it to McGregor in a 13 second KO at UFC 194. Edgar moved himself into a No. 1 contender slot on the back of five straight wins since the loss to Aldo, capping that off with a first round KO over Chad Mendes on that same card in December.
UFC 200 is expected to feature multiple title fights in addition to that Interim Title fight between Aldo and Edgar, which could be added in the next month or so pending outcomes of some upcoming fights.
Penick’s Analysis: I really still don’t like the McGregor-Diaz rematch being at welterweight, but apparently it was something on which McGregor insisted. Still, the Aldo-Edgar fight is the right bout to make with McGregor remaining out of the division, and allows the top end of that field to move forward until McGregor comes back down. If Edgar beats Aldo in the rematch, McGregor absolutely has unfinished business, while an Aldo win makes the rematch with McGregor all the more necessary. This will be a huge event, but again, the welterweight set up for the McGregor-Diaz fight just doesn’t make sense.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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