Plenty to like (and hate) about Diaz-McGregor II at UFC two hundred

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 4:46 AM

Conor McGregor II is happening. It'll be contested at one hundred-seventieth pounds -- just love it was on March five -- and will headline UFC two hundred on July nine in Las Vegas.

Plenty to like (and hate) about Diaz-McGregor II at UFC two hundred

Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor II is happening. It'll be contested at one hundred-seventieth pounds -- just like it was on March five -- and will headline UFC two hundred on July nine in Las Vegas. Contracts have been signed.

So, presently that it'south official ... how do we perceive about it? It'south a question I'm having difficulty answering because I'm finding this rematch to be equal parts like and hate.

Let'south walk this through together, and hopefully by the finish we'll have figured out precisely how we perceive about what's arguably the most significant headliner of the year given the landmark event that's UFC two hundred.

one. I like it because it'south the fight McGregor wants ...

Many look this as a negative, as in, "Who'south running the indicate here? Why does the UFC bend to the will of this Irish diva? I'm ill of seeing McGregor get special privileges! #UFConor." My response to that is: Why? Why shouldn't McGregor obtain to choose his following fight? He'south the biggest draw in MMA. His fights are generating hundreds of millions of dollars. If a certain matchup motivates him more than all others, why shouldn't he have the right to demand it? Let'south not forget, McGregor could've pulled out of UFC one hundred ninety-six when Rafael dos Anjos withdrew with an injury. Same goes for UFC one hundred eighty-nine latest summer, when Jose Aldo broke a rib. McGregor has taken risks, stayed on cards when two title shots have been yanked from the table and, in doing so, has drawn a massive quantity of attention to the sport and the UFC brand. Of course he's earned the right to choose an opponent.

And these claims about him holding up the featherweight division -- technically, they're not wrong, but aren't they a tiny overblown? McGregor won the 145-pound championship in December. That was three months ago, guys. These days, if champions defend their titles twice per year, it'south considered active. When this all started, McGregor was trying to create history by becoming the first UFC athlete to keep titles in multiple wt classes simultaneously. Had he pulled out of UFC one hundred ninety-six and waited for dos Anjos to heal up, we'd still be on the same time frame as distant as the featherweight div is concerned. The bottom line for me is I believe McGregor wants this rematch against Diaz for the right reasons. He doesn't care what you or I want. He lost to a man he feels he should've beaten. Presently he'south obsessed with getting that one back. He bailed on a film appearance with Vin Diesel to focus on Diaz. I like that. To me, that'south a better plot than a mandatory title defense.

... but I detest it because it jilts Frankie Edgar

Edgar deserves a title shot. A genuine one. He deserves to fight the No. one fighter of his wt class. Right now, that'south McGregor. If you're not a fan of Edgar by now, it'south not him ... it'south you. He lets his performances speak for themselves and he'south on a very brief list of names I'd consider to be the most technical mixed martial artists in the world. He's done everything asked of him and exceeded high expectations along the way. An interim title fight against Aldo at UFC two hundred is a heck of a consolation prize. Edgar has the opportunity to beat the most dominant winner in the history of the featherweight division, avenge a loss from two thousand thirteen and show up on a historic card -- but a consolation prize is still a consolation prize. He deserves a fight against McGregor, and it'south disappointing to look him passed over again.

two. I like it because it really is a grand stylistic fight ...

You know what I also can't obtain on board with? This idea that the first fight wasn't close. Uh, that fight was close. McGregor beat Diaz up in the first circular and was on his way to winning the second when he got caught with several shots, was visibly gassed and things quickly deteriorated from there. I realize if you don't love McGregor and don't wish to hear excuses for losing a fight to an opponent who only had eleven days to prepare. I obtain that and don't even dispute with it. But you're kidding yourself if you don't think there were a lot of added variables at UFC one hundred ninety-six due to the brief notice/wt jump. Sure, McGregor talking about "inefficient energy" sounds a lot love a crap excuse, but it also sounds love a very reasonable explanation to him gassing seven minutes into a fight.

This matchup, on paper, is a beauty. Diaz'south reach and vol vs. McGregor'south pressure and offensive firepower? The Stockton slap vs. McGregor'south showboating, wheel-kicking bravado? That'south fun. A lot has been made of McGregor'south destitute takedown attempt that ultimately led to a Diaz rear-naked choke, but don't forget McGregor swept Diaz when they hit the floor in the opening round. I'm not saying McGregor is secretly a better grappler here -- distant from it. What I'm saying is this is a great, competitive fight. Don't let the final minutes of their first encounter fool you into thinking otherwise. It was an entertaining matchup on March five and it'll be entertaining again on July nine.

... but I detest it because it'south a rematch, period

Sufficient with the rematches, right? I like UNC vs. Duke on the hardwood but that doesn't imply I wish to look it every night. The UFC schedule is a minefield of rematches: Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier II,  Luke Rockhold- Chris Weidman II, Dominick Cruz- Urijah Faber III, Joanna Jedrzejczyk- Claudia Gadelha II and presently Aldo-Edgar II. UFC president Dana White was actually mad Holly Holm wasn't willing to sit around and wait for a rematch against Ronda Rousey. I can go on. Wish me to go on? Let'south go on. Potentially looming: Robbie Lawler- Carlos Condit II, TJ Dillashaw- Raphael Assuncao II and Demetrious Johnson- Joseph Benavidez III. Arrive on. A rematch love Diaz-McGregor would've been money six months from now. Or twelve. Heck, I've been waiting twelve years and counting for a Lawler- Nick Diaz rematch. Did we really have to do this fight now? As in, right now?

three. I love it because we obtain a full buildup this time ...

These two crammed a lot of fight promotion into eleven days and even showed some early action at the prefight news conference. And in some ways, the eleven days made it better because there wasn't sufficient time for them to obtain ill of one another and start repeating the same tired lines over and over. That said, I believe there is some world-class verbal sparring coming our way. And we were all wondering how brash and confident McGregor would be coming off his first UFC loss. Presently you really have to ponder how the "king" shtick will keep up, as he fields questions about an opponent who was latest seen choking him into submission. Meanwhile, Diaz has embraced the role of spoiler and seems to get grand pleasure in dismantling the UFC'south perceived golden child.

It goes beyond the promotion of the fight -- I'm legitimately looking forward to seeing the adjustments these two create against each other with the benefit of a full training camp. Diaz says his timing will be on and McGregor won't touch him. McGregor says he'll realize the wt better and pace himself accordingly. Hopefully we'll look the depth of his game this time, as opposed to basically one heavy left hand after another.

... but I detest it because it'south at one hundred-seventieth pounds

There'south really number reason for this. At UFC one hundred ninety-six, yeah, it made sense to fight at one hundred-seventieth. Diaz wasn't training for a fight. Cutting the wt would've probably left him zapped by the time he stepped into the cage. But this time, those circumstances don't exist. McGregor isn't a welterweight. Nor is Diaz. When these two have closed the book on their respective careers, I believe they'll both be remembered primarily as lightweights. Regardless of who wins on July 9, I don't wish to look either of them stay at one hundred-seventieth. We've seen Diaz lose to elite contest there previously. McGregor would likely encounter similar results. This is a marquee fight, is it not? It'd better be; it'south headlining UFC 200. So, have it at the exact weight. Don't keep it hostage to the circumstances of the first one, just to declare it'south the same fight. Pointless.

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