McGregor-Diaz II to headline UFC 200

Several major pieces were locked into place for the much-hyped UFC 200 on Thursday as Dana White officially confirmed Conor McGregor would headline the card in a rematch against Nate Diaz.

It was no great surprise given news of the fight was first reported several weeks ago but that didn't stop today's announcement from prompting a wave of reaction - including excitement, anger and bewilderment.

Adding to that was the bombshell revelation the two men desperate to challenge McGregor for the featherweight title he still holds - Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar - would fight each other on the undercard.

Both had fair claims to a fight with the Irishman - who will instead fight Diaz for the second time at welterweight - but they'll square off for the interim featherweight title and a shot at McGregor in his next fight.

This is how the UFC universe reacted to the announcement of the card, which also includes these fights: Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne, Johny Hendricks vs.

Kelvin Gastelum, Jim Miller vs. Takanori Gomi and Joe Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez.


'FEEL BAD FOR ALDO AND EDGAR'

It's clear some fighters on the UFC roster are still coming to terms with how McGregor has changed the game.

All the old rules about a champion being regularly required to face the number one challenger in his division have been thrown out the window in favour of making the biggest money fights.

It makes obvious sense from a business standpoint but that doesn't make it anymore palatable for the guys who have been forced to wait their turn in the past.

Predictably, lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos - who pulled out of a fight with McGregor because of injury at UFC 196 - led the chorus of criticism.

"Feel bad for Aldo and Edgar," dos Anjos tweeted. "After UFC 200, Conor (will) find another fight in a different division, so he can keep his belt for (a little) longer. Coward."




'I DON'T LIKE THIS FIGHT'

Other members of the UFC media took issue with the potential of the match-ups to produce exciting fights.

Diaz enjoyed a relatively easy finish in his first fight against McGregor despite being called in as a late replacement for dos Anjos. So with a full camp behind him this time, there's reason to believe the result will be the same.

"Personally, I don't like this fight as an immediate rematch. There was no controversy in the first, and the result was clean-cut," Fox Sport's Elias Cepeda wrote.

"Beyond that, there's only so many times we need to watch a featherweight and a lightweight fight at welterweight. On short-notice, it was understandable.

"Months out, it's silly and likely only in place to satisfy the particularly prideful goals of McGregor. With that being said, the positive thing about this UFC 200 contest is that, as Nate Diaz has said, at least it's a 'real fight' between two real fighters who always bring aggression, spirit and gameness."


Edgar and Aldo's second bout holds interest because of the importance it now holds for both of their careers - and the competitive nature of their first bout.

The Brazilian clearly outpointed Edgar in the first two rounds at UFC 156, busting up the challenger with pinpoint jabs. His leg kicks were also doing damage. The third round was much closer, with Aldo still doing enough to win the round, but he was definitely starting to gas.

The final two rounds saw Edgar come into his own with his far superior cardio, and while he didn't land any shots that had the champ in trouble, he certainly looked like he won those rounds 10-9.

WHAT ABOUT THE WOMEN?

Missing from White's announcement were any bouts including female fighters.

The UFC probably needs a little more time to figure out what it's doing with a bantamweight division which is in a state of flux flowing the end of Ronda Rousey's reign - and then the immediate defeat of her conqueror Holly Holm at the hands of Miesha Tate.

Rousey isn't expected to be ready to fight until much later in the year, but White did indicate after UFC 197 the biggest name in the sport would get first crack at Tate's title.
Could she be a surprise addition to UFC 200? It's possible, but unlikely. Could Tate face Holm in a rematch, or another challenger like Amanda Nunes? Possibly.

Right now, there's no clear option. "You should expect a couple. There will be a couple women's fights at UFC 200," White said. "Actually, two or three maybe."

If Edgar can take Aldo into deep waters again this time, he has a chance.

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