Picture Credit || Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
UFC 200’s flagship show now has an official main event. A light heavyweight title fight between current champion Daniel Cormier and former champion and current interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will officially headline UFC 200.
The bout was announced this morning on Good Morning America. An audience member posted the following from the show prior to the taping.
UFC 200 will be held on July 9, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A welterweight rematch between The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner and former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz and current UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor was originally expected to headline the event. The pairing previously met earlier in the year at UFC 196. McGregor was expected to challenge UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos at the event, but dos Anjos pulled out due to a broken foot only 11 days before the event. Diaz eventually replaced him and the bout was shifted to the 170lbs. Diaz eventually won the fight via rear-naked choke in the second round.
Everything changed on April 19: in a sudden turn of events, after McGregor tweeting a supposed retirement, the UFC announced that he was pulled from the event and a replacement for him is being sought. UFC President Dana White clarified that McGregor’s removal was related to his refusal to come to a press conference that week, because “he was in Iceland training and didn’t want to ruin his preparation for the fight”. McGregor released a statement two days later, claiming he is not retired and that he requested the UFC to allow him to focus more on the fight preparation this time, as he feels he lost his focus during the media obligations for the last fight. He gave an ultimatum, saying he’s ready for the event and would come for a scheduled New York press conference, but if that’s not enough, he “doesn’t know what to say”. A report later claimed that the UFC decided to cancel the fight.
Jon Jones faced Daniel Cormier for the first time at UFC 182 in January 2015 and earned a unanimous decision win defending the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. The fight also earned both fighters ‘Fight of the Night’. Following the bout, Jones was later stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title due to hit and run incident.
The rematch was scheduled for UFC 197 this past weekend, however Cormier pulled out of the fight due to a foot injury. Jones was then scheduled to fight Ovince Saint Preux for the UFC interim light heavyweight title. Jones won the bout via a unanimous decision.
UFC 200 now looks like this:
Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title
José Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar for the UFC interim featherweight title
Miesha Tate (c) vs. Amanda Nunes for the UFC women’s bantamweight title
Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne
Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Gegard Mousasi vs. Derek Brunson
Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Lauzon
Sage Northcutt vs. Enrique Marín
Takanori Gomi vs. Jim Miller
Cat Zingano vs. Julianna Peña