Nate Diaz, the last remaining half of the cancelled Diaz vs McGregor rematch, may not be fighting at UFC 200 after all, at least according to a recent tweet.
Happy to announce that I'm going on vacation #gone #100 ✌????️— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 26, 2016
The statement comes only four days after Diaz told reporters at the UFC 200 press conference that he not only never asked for the match against Conor McGregor, but he did not want to fight anyone else.
“I came to fight Conor McGregor and I don’t really have any interest in anybody else. I don’t have any interest in fighting at all, but if that’s what we’re going to do… “
Diaz reiterated his stance when reporter, Ariel Helwani asked him if there was anyone else he was willing to take on at UFC 200.
“I didn’t ask for that fight, but he asked for it and he wanted it, and if that ain’t going to happen, I’m going on vacation.”
Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor were originally slated to headline the UFC’s 200th event, which is still scheduled for July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor, however, failed to promote the match, giving the promotion’s brass no choice but to remove him from the card.
“We try to give as much leeway as we can on things, but you have to show up and promote the fight,” said UFC president Dana White, at the press conference. “Is it too much to ask to try to shoot a commercial for the fight? A lot of these guys came here from different parts of the world. But, you know, these guys all came. They have better things to do, and they’re here. It’s part of the job.
The question now remains: who could possibly fill the void left by the cancelled Diaz-McGregor rematch?
The simplest answer would be to move one of the matches already on the card up to the main event slot.
UFC 200 already has two title fights. One will be between bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes, and the other will be the rather odd interim featherweight championship bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.
But considering this is obviously a special event for the UFC, the promotion may be looking for a match that can generate more interest.
A rematch between interim light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, and current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier may therefore be a better candidate for the main event.
Known for their vocal animosity towards each other and their on-stage brawl, Jones and Cormier could certainly generate plenty of hype for UFC 200.
However, Cormier, who tore a ligament in his leg during training, still needs clearance from his doctor before the match can even be considered.
“I’m going to see the doctor Monday, and if they say that I can compete in 11 weeks at UFC 200, I’ll be there. I’ll be there with my championship belt, with my red wraps on my glove as I come out second and you wait for me to walk to the Octagon. We meet here live from the T-Mobile Arena, the brand new arena out here in Las Vegas, and we unify these titles.”
The other possibility, and perhaps the least likely to happen, would be for the main event to feature the long-awaited return of one of the UFC’s biggest stars, Georges St. Pierre.
GSP has not been in the octagon since his less-than-stellar title defense against former welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks, at UFC 163. That was almost three years ago.
In an interview with The MMA Hour, St. Pierre told Helwani that talks with his management team and the UFC had gotten more serious.
However, the former welterweight champion refused to say when or even if he would be making his return to the promotion.
Luckily, the UFC still has well over two months to fill the vacancy left by its failed Diaz-McGregor rematch.
But will it be able to find stars capable of generating the hype it needs to make its 200th event a truly memorable card?
Fans will have to wait and see.
[Image via John Locher/AP Images]