UFC 200 should make history.
While it has yet to be officially announced, the latest word going around is that UFC is expected to soon confirm Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz II as the main event for their landmark UFC 200 event in July.
McGregor and Diaz first met in a welterweight bout at UFC 196 in early March, where Diaz submitted McGregor via second round choke, giving “The Notorious” one his first official loss inside the Octagon. The event is rumored to have drawn in the neighborhood of $1.5 million buys on pay-per-view, and drew the third largest gate in UFC history.
No doubt, the results of the business side of the first McGregor-Diaz bout makes a rematch a no-brainer in terms of a guaranteed money-fight that the promotion could book at some point down the line. But why UFC 200?
It appears inevitable that UFC 200 will be a business success regardless of the fight selected to serve as the headline attraction for the show, so why book an immediate rematch just months after the initial showdown on an event that is 15-years in the making?
Forget that fact that Diaz won in dominant, definitive fashion and that one could argue that McGregor, the current 145-pound champion of the UFC who is now 0-1 in his career at 170 pounds, isn’t even worthy of a second shot against the Stockton bad boy.
Toss that factor out the window.
Forget the fact that if McGregor-Diaz II is booked for the July 9th event, that the entire UFC Featherweight division remains on hold with the title essentially frozen while McGregor has his “fun fights” and arguably unwarranted immediate rematches of said-fights.
Throw that factor out the window as well.
Look at this from a fan perspective. McGregor-Diaz II, for those who enjoyed the hoopla surrounding the first fight, will be just as exciting at UFC 206 or UFC 211. It’d be just as exciting at UFC On FOX 24 or UFC Fight Night 98. The show doesn’t matter. It’s irrelevant.
UFC 200 should be special. UFC 200 should have a fresh main event that fans won’t have seen just four months prior.
Regardless of whether or not Ronda Rousey will be back in time for a July fight, or if UFC can convince Georges St-Pierre to come out of retirement, with the current state of the UFC landscape — which is as wide open and fun as it has been in quite a while — there are a plethora of big fights and/or fun fights that could serve as a main event for such a historic show without going back to the well so soon for a goofy immediate rematch.
Sure, UFC tied up a lot of the top stars in events leading directly up to UFC 200, where injuries could happen in training camps — or the fights themselves — that would then make a lot of your biggest draws unavailable for your landmark event. That simplly can’t be avoided. You can’t “save” all of your top stars and biggest matches for one special event, or you’re stuck booking lackluster events in the meantime.
With UFC on one of their hottest streaks in company history right now, you don’t want to do anything that cools off the momentum you have built.
Having said that, the solution to this issue seems pretty simple …
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