Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are ready to step into the octagon again. Finally.
The two fighters will headline UFC 202 in Las Vegas on Aug. 20, UFC announced Sunday. The new bout comes after a months-long back-and-forth saga between McGregor and UFC president Dana White over media appearances and financial compensation.
— UFC (@ufc) June 5, 2016
McGregor had already been preparing for the potential rematch before the announcement went official, doing some extensive workouts in the gym to add rock-hard muscle. The 27-year-old told ESPN he wanted the fight at 170 lbs, the same as the first bout between the two, not at Diaz’s normal fighting weight of 155 lbs.
“What kind of fighter would I be if I said, ‘Hey, I didn’t get you at 170, let me try to get you at 155,'” McGregor told ESPN in an interview. “I’ll make my adjustments. I ate up to the weight. This time, I won’t do that.”
The fight was originally scheduled for July 9 as the headliner for UFC 200, but White pulled the fight and replaced it with Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier after McGregor’s holdout. McGregor took to social media in the ensuing weeks and teased a potential (albeit highly unlikely) boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, but most MMA insiders was that the two sides would come together for an agreement.
White met with McGregor last month about rescheduling the fight and now McGregor Diaz II will officially go down in Las Vegas. The Irish fighter lost for the first time in his UFC career after being defeated by Diaz at UFC 196 in March on submission.
The McGregor-Diaz news wasn’t the only major update from UFC over the weekend: The organization announced that Brock Lesnar will return to fight at UFC 200 after a years-long absence from the sport. The WWE star has not been in the octagon since December 2011.
— UFC (@ufc) June 6, 2016
Lesnar is set for a heavyweight battle against Mark Hunt, known as one of the fiercest punchers in the sport. The New Zealand native has nine knockout wins in his career, and he comes into the fight after a first-round KO win against Frank Mir in March.
“It could be anybody,” Lesnar said while appearing on ESPN after the announcement. “I didn’t care. That’s how simple it is. I’ve never turned down a fight in the UFC. I think I match up very well (with Hunt). If Mark ends up on the ground, the fight’s over. Obviously, I need to work on my standup game, but I’m excited and enthusiastic about doing so. That’s the difference.”
The UFC has quite the busy summer ahead—and fans have some major fights to look forward to.