Many of the action-packed fights expected for the highly anticipated UFC 200 have been confirmed by the UFC, and the fight card is looking as good as previously advertised by the 23-year-old fight promotion.
The monumental card features two title bouts (one interim), a few No. 1-contender fights and a couple dream matchups for hardcore fans. So let’s dig into the 10 fights announced for what is shaping up to be one of the more talent-filled events in UFC history.
Love him or hate him, there is no one more qualified right now to headline UFC 200 than featherweight champion Conor McGregor. The Irishman has established himself as a bona-fide force within the promotion, bringing home the bacon in record numbers for his headlining fights at UFC 189, UFC 194 and UFC 196, respectively.
He’ll be facing off against fan favorite and longtime UFC lightweight Nate Diaz, who played just as big of a role as McGregor in breaking the bank during their first matchup at UFC 196.
Diaz walked away with the win in March, handing McGregor his first loss inside the Octagon, so fans will be eager to see how the rematch plays out between two guys who helped sell a reported 1.5 million Pay-Per-Views the last time around.
Their first fight was an absolute war, and with both guys eager to earn a shot at McGregor at the featherweight belt, fans should expect nothing less the second time around.
Aldo is coming off just his second-career loss, a first-round KO against McGregor, and will be taking the Octagon for the first time without a belt. He is without a doubt one of the greatest featherweights of all time, and a win another win over Edgar would put him in position for the rematch with McGregor he desperately wants.
Meanwhile, second-ranked featherweight Edgar has been clamoring for a title shot and believes his five straight wins, including three by stoppage, should warrant him as much. The UFC, however, feel differently and it appears Edgar will need to get a win over the last man to beat him, Aldo, for the interim title before challenging McGregor for the full title.
Regardless of the “interim” title tag, this is a matchup of two of promotions best fighters ever, so fans are surely in for a treat.
Miesha Tate may have decided to forgo the Holly Holm rematch for her first title defense, but challenger Amanda Nunes is no cakewalk.
Nunes was considered a threat to then-champion Ronda Rousey after back-to-back first-round finishes against Sara McMann and Shayna Baszler, but the UFC decided to go with Holm at the time. Nunes went on to dispatch tough women’s bantamweight newcomer Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 196, the same card where Tate won the title from Holm, making the Brazilian even tougher to ignore.
We all knew about the grit and toughness of Tate heading into her matchup with Holm, but “Cupcake” showed she was even more resilient than some believed in coming away with the belt.
It’ll no doubt be interesting to see how Tate’s first title defense plays out against Nunes, who has finished all but one of her wins since 2011 in the first round.
Velasquez is looking to right the ship after losing his long-held championship belt to Fabricio Werdum and then being forced out of the rematch due to injury. When July 9 finally rolls around, it will have been over a year since Velasquez fought and nearly three years since he last won inside the Octagon.
Both of these guys boast a KO/TKO rate over 78 percent, so odds are one of these guys will take care of business before the end of the third and final round.