Diaz – McGregor rematch set for July 9.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been gaining ground on the sport of boxing since Dana White became its president in 2001.
White transformed the UFC from an unregulated circus to a strategic and calculated business in just 15 years.
Human beings have always been drawn to fighting, it’s in our DNA.
Unfortunately, boxing was the only popular sport that was available to those who wanted to practice a combat sport.
Now that Floyd Mayweather has retired, the sport of boxing is struggling even more to captivate audiences.
I mean, who wouldn’t rather see someone get knocked out with a spinning back fist or an arm bar instead of the usual boxing knockouts?
The sport has had many stars with the likes of Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Brock Lesnar, Jon Jones, and more.
However, no star has shined as bright as Irishman Conor McGregor, who joined the UFC in February 2013.
McGregor immediately made his presence felt in the UFC with his vicious knockouts and amazing fan base.
At UFC 194, McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo to claim the 145-lb featherweight title in a record-breaking 13 seconds.
After his knockout against Aldo, McGregor became not only the biggest star in the UFC, but he became one of the biggest sports stars in the world.
Also known as “Mystic Mac,” McGregor is famous for predicting the way he is going to finish his opponents. What made his knockout over Aldo even more unbelievable is that he predicted that he would catch Aldo with a quick left hook.
Unfortunately, McGregor could not foresee what would happen to him at UFC 196 against fellow bad-boy Nate Diaz.
McGregor was supposed to move up to the 155 lb lightweight division and fight for a title shot against Rafael dos Anjos. Dos Anjos had to withdraw from the fight eleven days before after he broke his foot in training.
McGregor had the opportunity to become the first fighter in the history of the sport to hold two championship belts at different weight classes at the same time.
Instead, he chose to fight the more experienced and taller fighter, Nate Diaz.
McGregor and Diaz are eerily similar in terms of the way they fight and the way they verbally abuse their opponents. Both of these men have a certain swagger and aggressiveness about them. They don’t look to just win more rounds than their opponent, they look to knock their opponent out.
At UFC 196, Diaz submitted McGregor in the second round with a rear naked choke in one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history.
UFC 196 cemented MMA as the premier fighting sport ahead of boxing, especially since Floyd Mayweather has retired. UFC 196 broke every record in the book, including highest pay-per-view sales and 844,000 tweets in the U.S. alone according to mmaweekly.com.
UFC 196 is undeniably changed the landscape of the UFC. If McGregor had defeated Diaz as planned, he would have most likely taken a rematch with Jose Aldo at 145 lbs. However, the prospect of having a rematch between the two biggest stars in the sport is undeniable.
McGregor went from seeming invincible to his overall martial arts game being questioned, specifically his jiu-jitsu. The one flaw that other fighter’s have pointed out in McGregor’s game is his ground game and grappling.
Before the fight, Diaz pointed out that McGregor did not have the quality training coaches as he did or the experience in fighting quality fighters.
Both fighters deserve a lot of credit for the way that they performed and left everything in the octagon.
Even though he lost, McGregor still showed up to the fight despite the fact that he only had 11 days to game plan for Diaz after Dos Anjos withdrew.
More impressively, Diaz took the fight with less than two weeks notice and still was in fantastic enough shape to wear the Irishman down. So just imagine what Diaz can do to McGregor with a full camp and time to train.
What makes Diaz and McGregor such a dream matchup is that both fighters are notorious trash talkers and guys who do not avoid confrontation. Both fighters have avid fan bases, with the entire nation and Irish population behind McGregor and the West Coast and Stockton behind Diaz.
On July 9th, both men will return to Las Vegas at UFC 200 for the most anticipated rematch in the history of not only the UFC, but maybe in the history of fighting.
Since the rematch was announced on Wednesday, the Internet has already buzzed about how the fight will go down.
“Since that last fight, have you heard any praise for me from Dana or the UFC? None at all.”
“How much praise has that motherf**ker got? I’ve never lost a fight and not wanted to fight the guy 10 minutes later. The UFC is pumping him up again, saying he wants to redeem himself and giving him all this credit for it. It’s like, dude, I’ve been obsessed with every fight I’ve ever lost. This is a gift for him to get it right away.”
There is no denying that McGregor is the UFC’s golden boy and cash cow. A prime example of this being that McGregor basically got to decide that the rematch would be held at 170 lbs instead of 155 lbs like Diaz wanted.
The big question leading up to this fight is that if McGregor loses for a second consecutive time, will he still have the draw and appeal that has captivated fans around the world?
Here are the cards and information about UFC 200 provided by mmaweekly.com.
Diaz vs. McGregor 2
Date: July 9, 2016
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
UFC 200 Fight Card
Conor McGregor (19-3) vs. Nate Diaz (19-10)
Jose Aldo (25-2) vs. Frankie Edgar (20-4-1)
Cain Velasquez (13-2) vs. Travis Browne (18-3-1)
Derek Brunson (15-3) vs. Gegard Mousasi (38-6-2)
Joe Lauzon (25-11) vs. Diego Sanchez (26-8)
Johnny Hendricks (17-4) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (11-2)
Takanori Gomi (35-11, 1 NC) vs. Jim Miller (25-8, 1 NC)
Sage Northcutt (7-1) vs. Enrique Marin (8-3)
AP Photo/Eric Jamison (top)
AP Photo/John Locher (inside)