UFC 200: Jon Jones/Daniel Cormier II to Replace Conor McGregor/Nate Diaz II as Main Event

By Dave Martin, Epoch Times
April 27, 2016 2:22 pm Last Updated: May 3, 2016 12:36 pm

UFC 200’s main event is finally set—and it doesn’t involve the long-anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.

Instead, a light heavyweight title bout between Jon Jones (22–1) and Daniel Cormier (17–1) will be the main draw at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White announced on “Good Morning America” Wednesday.

Jones is fresh off a win over Ovince Saint Preux Saturday night at UFC 197 in a unanimous decision for his 13th straight win. The bout was Jones’ first in 15 months—since beating Cormier in January of 2015 for his eighth straight title defense—following his arrest for a hit-and-run last year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jones entered a plea deal last September and avoided jail time, but was stripped of his UFC title.

Cormier, meanwhile, won the vacant title by beating Anthony Johnson via submission at UFC 187 in May of 2015 and then won his first title defense—a split decision win over Alexander Gustafsson in October of 2015.

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Cormier was set for a rematch with Jones at UFC 197, but a leg injury forced him to withdraw several weeks before the fight. 

“Me and my team have been working extensively on a strategy and game plan to beat Daniel Cormier,” Jones said to ESPN. “I got thrown a last minute change of opponent and felt I did great with it, given the circumstances. I’m ready to get back to my original plan, which is to dominate Daniel Cormier, again.”

ESPN has Jones ranked as the second-best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, second only to flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

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Meanwhile, the Conor McGregor versus Nate Diaz rematch will apparently have to wait. McGregor retired last week, only to take it back two days later in a Facebook post that explained why he didn’t want to come to Las Vegas and do promotions for the bout, which are mandatory according to White. Diaz stated last week that he only wanted to fight McGregor.