Nate Diaz lands UFC 200 main event in a rematch with Conor McGregor

Believe it or not, the main-event poster boy for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s marquee UFC 200 event will be Nate Diaz, the company’s rebel, in a rematch with featherweight champion Conor McGregor.

“UFC 200, July 9, get your tickets,” Diaz cracked Thursday in a telephone conversation with The Times.

The surprising placement of Diaz in the headline fight happened because Ireland’s McGregor pushed for an immediate rematch with Diaz at welterweight (170 pounds) after losing to the Stockton fighter by second-round submission March 5 at UFC 196.

The first fight was made possible because lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos injured a foot less than two weeks before UFC 196.

Left a bit humbled by the loss, in which Diaz landed heavy punches in the second round and took advantage of McGregor’s fatigue carrying the extra weight to apply a deciding rear-naked chokehold, McGregor (19-3) has now responded by holding off on a return to featherweight to achieve revenge for his first loss in UFC competition.

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