UFC Tonight announced the official booking on Wednesday, and UFC officials have confirmed to ESPN. The 170-pound fight will take place inside the newly built T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor (19-3) remains the UFC’s official 145-pound featherweight champion. He won that title by defeating Jose Aldo in a 13-second knockout in December. With McGregor accepting his second consecutive fight outside the weight class, the UFC has booked an interim title fight between Aldo (25-2) andFrankie Edgar (20-4-1), which also will take place at UFC 200.
McGregor, 27, suffered the first loss of his UFC career to Diaz (19-10) earlier this month at UFC 196. Diaz submitted McGregor via rear-naked choke in the second round.
UFC president Dana White described how the rematch came together on Wednesday’s edition of SportsCenter.
“After (UFC 196, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta) and I went to Conor’s house he was renting here in Las Vegas and started talking about, ‘What are you thinking? What’s next?'” White said. “He was obsessed — obsessed with fighting Nate Diaz again. Obviously, Lorenzo and I tried to argue with him and said, ‘Let’s go back to 145 (pounds) and defend your title or if you really want the Diaz fight that bad, do it at 155 (pounds).’ He wants the fight at 170.
“Even his coach (John Kavanagh) tried to get him to get off the rematch and off the 170-pound fight but it’s what he wanted.”
The original bout came under unique circumstances. McGregor was originally scheduled to challenge 155-pound lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, but that fight was scratched 11 days before, when dos Anjos withdrew with a broken foot. Diaz agreed to fill in on short notice, and the bout was made at 170 pounds.
Aldo, 29, has been asking for a rematch since losing to McGregor at UFC 194. Fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Aldo had recorded seven title defenses before the loss.
The interim title fight is a rematch of a championship fight that took place at UFC 156 in February 2013. Aldo defeated Edgar via unanimous decision. Edgar, who is a former UFC lightweight champion, has earned a second shot at the title on the heels of a five-fight winning streak, including wins over BJ Penn, Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes.
According to White, the winner of the interim title fight between Aldo and Edgar will definitely face McGregor next.
“Win, lose or draw in this fight against Nate Diaz, (McGregor) will go in and fight either Jose or Frankie,” White said. “Whoever wins at UFC 200.”
Also confirmed for UFC 200 is the return of former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (13-2) against Travis Browne (18-3-1). Welterweight Johny Hendricks (17-4), also a former champion, will take on Kelvin Gastelum (11-2).