Earlier this month, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor suffered the first loss of his UFC career when he was submitted by Stockton’s own Nate Diaz in a welterweight bout. At the time the fight made sense; originally slated to challenge Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title at UFC 196, McGregor agreed to face Diaz at welterweight when dos Anjos suffered a broken foot less than two weeks before their bout.

It was brilliant matchmaking on the part of the UFC, as McGregor and Diaz are two of the sport’s best trash talkers. Between McGregor’s mass appeal and Daiz’s legion of hardcore fans, the bout’s lead up was absolutely electric and it took a pay-per-view that was on the brink of disaster and turned it into one of the most lucrative events in UFC history.

Even though McGregor lost to Diaz in spectacular fashion, it didn’t hurt his credibility as a top-tier talent. Instead, people praised him for his willingness to step up to the plate and fight anyone, anytime, anywhere. But that was then and this is now.

If the MMA rumor mill is correct, it appears as if McGregor vs. Diaz 2 will be happening at the landmark UFC 200 in July. Simply put, this is a terrible idea.

For starters, Diaz just soundly and emphatically beat McGregor on short notice. What about that fight would lead you to believe it would end any differently for McGregor if Diaz is afforded a full training camp to prepare? Maybe if the fight was going to be contested at 155 I’d be a little intrigued but no, all signs are pointing towards this re-match taking place at 170 yet again. What sense does that make?

Diaz has spent the bulk of his career at lightweight and McGregor is the reigning UFC featherweight champion, but let’s go ahead and have them fight at 170. If McGregor vs. Diaz at UFC 196 was UFC last-minute matchmaking at its best then McGregor vs. Diaz 2 would be UFC matchmaking at its worst.

On top of a less than interesting stellar re-match, McGregor has a title that needs to be defended. In December at UFC 194, McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo to become the undisputed UFC featherweight champion but instead of defending his belt the UFC has allowed him to seek out the matchups of his choice. While I’m not against that in theory, in practice they are allowing him to hold up one of the most intriguing and talent-rich divisions in all of MMA.

If McGregor’s next bout isn’t at featherweight then he needs to vacate the title so the division can move ahead without him. Moving up to fight another champion and taking a fight to save a PPV is one thing, but actively scheduling a non-title bout two weight classes away means you don’t intend on ever putting that title on the line.

If McGregor wants to just take money fights I’m all for it and I think it could be a great thing for the sport. I understand that his bout with Diaz was a huge financial success the first time around but I just can’t see that being true the second time around; it’s just too soon.

There is a difference between striking while the iron is hot and regurgitating past success. Having McGregor vs. Diaz 2 at this junction is definitely the latter.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.