It’s now official that UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor will fight Nate Diaz at UFC 200, again at 170 lbs; McGregor won the title in December, but has yet to defend it, which leaves the division moving on without him. There was at least one deserving contender to the belt in Frankie Edgar, and Jose Aldo deserves a chance to show his loss to McGregor was a fluke, even if he’s been acting like a petulant kid with his comments towards McGregor. Because of that, those two will fight at UFC 200 for an Interim Title.
I know Max Holloway keeps throwing his name out there as deserving of a title shot, but come on, nobody in their right mind is going to say that he’s more deserving of a title shot than either Edgar or Aldo. It seems a little absurd to create an interim belt already, but Aldo and especially Edgar aren’t your normal contenders. Aldo hadn’t lost in ten years and Edgar has beaten some of the top names out there and was more deserving of the title shot that McGregor got in the first place.
Back to the main event. The UFC loves them some Conor McGregor and they’ve shown in the past that Nate Diaz isn’t super high up on their list of favorite people. Do they push this fight as McGregor’s revenge or a chance for Diaz to show that he’s one of the best fighters in the world? The UFC could do both, but that’s a fine line to walk, and one that you could argue isn’t possible to do. McGregor has the edge in the trash talking department, but some of that is because Diaz trash talk gets bleeped every other word. That and his mumbling nature make it a little harder to keep up with McGregor in the talking department, though he’s certainly capable of spitting fire and getting fans excited at least as well as most.
Even if it’s not the best fight for the featherweight division, I can’t help but be excited. McGregor-Diaz 2 will be one of the most anticipated fights of the year without question. The atmosphere in the arena live will be one of the most electric ever seen in the UFC, and I’d love to be there live. I’ll settle for watching it live on pay-per-view, though.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier lodged a complaint against Herb Dean officiating his fight with Jon Jones this month. The commission noted his complaint, but ultimately named Dean the ref anyway. Cormier claims that Dean allowed Jones to stall late in their first fight. Even if that were true, I don’t know if Cormier would have had the energy to make a comeback anyway. I don’t think that Dean allows stalling anymore than most every ref, in that they almost all allow stalling to some degree. This is like when New England Patriots fans complain about Ed Hochuli or Clete Blakeman officiating one of their games.
I just think this is Cormier playing games. He wants to dictate terms, but no fighters get to pick their own referee. I think Cormier made an error here and would have been better off sending a tweet out about this, if anything. No commission is going to change refs or pick a different ref in the first place because that sets a bad precedent. Pretty soon you’d have every fighter out there wanting specific refs or not wanting specific refs and that just leads to trouble.
This isn’t lasting, and will be forgotten about as soon as the fight starts, but Cormier did open himself up to some trash talk from Jon Jones about this. Luckily for us, we won’t have to wait too long before we get to see this fight on April 23.
MMA is finally being legalized in New York. This is important mainly because it was ridiculous that it wasn’t legalized earlier. It’s also important to those who are actually going to attend MMA events in New York because it’s not really a big deal to viewers where the event is being held. Whether an event is in Florida, Nevada, Illinois, California, or New York, viewers at home can’t even tell a difference. It’s all the same. The Octagon is the same size. That said, it’s still important for the sport to be recognized. It’s just a shame that this is actually news with people out there who try to tie MMA into every type of perversion you can think of. This is good news for the UFC, and great news to those in New York who want to attend live UFC shows without having to travel into another state.
Cris Cyborg is officially coming to the UFC. She’s slated to fight Leslie Smith at UFC 198 in a 140 lb. catchweight fight. It’s cool that Cyborg is finally coming to the UFC and I think this is a test run for how she does at cutting weight. If she can make 140 lbs., maybe she can make 135 lbs., and then she can make a title run. Maybe we’ll finally get to see her fight Ronda Rousey? Or maybe she ends up fighting UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate? This is interesting and exciting and we’ll find out more as summer arrives.
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