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Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier Fight Set for UFC 200, Scrapping McGregor-Diaz Rematch

The new title card match announced by Dana White on Wednesday is the latest salvo in the ongoing saga of McGregor’s rogue PR campaign.
Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier set for UFC 200 fight. / Instagram @UFC

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are out. Jon "Bones" Jones and Daniel Cormier are in.

Jones will fight Cormier in a light heavyweight unification title match at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White announced on Wednesday.


The announcement is the latest wrinkle in the ongoing back-and-forth between McGregor and White, who pulled the Irish fighter from the event after he refused to take part in promotional work. Jones' return to the octagon comes after he'd returned from a year-long absence to fight Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 last weekend. Jones won that fight on a unanimous decision, and now he will take on Cormier—who Jones previously beat in January 2015.

Putting Jones-Cormier on the UFC 200 schedule may finally put an end to the PR battle between McGregor and White. But how did it even get to this?

Timeline: McGregor, White, and UFC 200

April 19, 2:29 p.m. ET: McGregor posts on his Twitter account that he has “decided to retire young,” sending shockwaves through the MMA world. McGregor does not clarify his post at the time, leaving others to speculate about what he means and what might happen. 

Diaz, then McGregor's presumptive opponent at UFC 200, pokes fun at McGregor, saying he would retire too.

April 19, 7:52 p.m. ET: White announces on ESPN’s SportsCenter that McGregor will not be fighting Diaz at UFC 200. White says McGregor did not want to take part in certain promotional duties for the fight, which prompted White to pull McGregor from the match.

April 21: In a defiant message posted on his social media accounts, McGregor reveals that he is not retiring, slamming UFC over his promotional duties and saying he got “lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.” McGregor writes that he is coming for his “revenge” against Diaz, who beat him the first time the two fought.

April 25, 1:46 a.m. ET: McGregor tweets in the early morning hours that he is “BACK on UFC 200,” thanking White and UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta for making it happen. One problem? It isn't true. Neither UFC, White, nor Fertitta confirms McGregor's reinstatement.

April 25, afternoon: White tells Yahoo! Sports that he has not spoken with McGregor about returning for the event, but that Diaz would remain on the card.

April 25, evening: Later that same day, Diaz says he only wanted to fight McGregor, and not any other opponent, at UFC 200. Diaz tweets that he is planning a vacation

So will there ever be a McGregor-Diaz rematch? The UFC likely would make a boatload of money if they can get McGregor and Diaz back in the Octagon.

One thing is certain though: It won’t be at UFC 200.

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