A sensational night of fights at UFC 199 at The Forum in California was punctuated by the news of two future blockbuster bouts.
First, a welterweight rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was announced for UFC 202 on August 20.
And then it was confirmed Brock Lesnar would return to the Octagon for the first time since December 2011 at the promotion’s landmark UFC 200 card on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Lesnar had retired from mixed martial arts following a defeat to Alistair Overeem as the former heavyweight champion struggled to battle diverticulitis. He went back to the WWE in 2012 having initially left in 2007 to pursue a career in MMA having joined the UFC in 2008 to become arguably the company’s biggest ever pay-per view draw.
‘The Beast’ defeated Randy Couture for the heavyweight strap in just his third UFC fight and his headline rematch with Frank Mir at UFC 100 in 2009 still stands as the best selling PPV in the promotion’s history.
An opponent has not yet been named for the 38-year-old but a bout for the co-main event of Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones’ light-heavyweight title rematch is expected to be finalised in the next 48 hours.
He is however, still a WWE superstar and they released a statement to clarify the situation.
“(Lesnar) remains under contract to WWE, however, he has been granted a one-off opportunity to compete at UFC 200,” the statement read. “Following this milestone event on July 9, Brock will return to WWE for SummerSlam on Sunday, August 21, live on WWE Network.”
Meanwhile, the UFC also announced the highly-anticipated rematch between featherweight champion McGregor and Diaz.
The pair were originally scheduled to headline UFC 200 but the divisive Irish superstar was pulled off the card in April after he refused to fly to Las Vegas to promote the bout. But last month McGregor patched up his relationship with UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta in Los Angeles and discussed re-running the fight in August.
However, shortly after that meeting, the fight again looked in doubt as Diaz, who submitted McGregor in the main event of UFC 196 in March, asked to renegotiate the financial terms of the rematch.
That now has been resolved and McGregor will look to avenge the first loss of his UFC career while Diaz is aiming to extend his winning streak to three.
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