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How UFC 196’s Results Affect The Biggest MMA Card of The Year, UFC 200

Let’s play matchmaker, shall we?
by Gab Pangalangan | Mar 7, 2016
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The results of UFC 196 have altered some of the company's plans for UFC 200, and we're here to run those down.

UFC 200—scheduled for July 9 in Las Vegas—is set to be a huge event, and you can expect some of the promotion's biggest names and matchups on that card. Here are a few possible rivalries for that slugfest in the wake of UFC 196:

Conor McGregor
 vs. Frankie Edgar/Jose Aldo

After his submission loss to Nate Diaz, McGregor is putting his welterweight and lightweight title plans on hold. The Irishman says he'll move back to featherweight for UFC 200, where two big names await him: Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo.

Edgar is next in line for a featherweight title shot after five straight wins, including a swift KO over Chad Mendes. Edgar vs. McGregor is a fight many fans have been waiting for, but if the UFC wants to go a different route, they might book Aldo vs. McGregor 2.

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After all, rematches are big-money fights. Plus, Aldo is arguably a safer matchup for McGregor, as the Brazilian will likely keep this fight standing and McGregor already knows he has the mental edge. Business-wise, it might be the better choice for the UFC.

Here are McGregor's thoughts on who he'll fight next:

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"It's kind of hard not to give Aldo another go," McGregor said at UFC 196 post-fight press conference. "He was 10 years undefeated but he pulls out a lot, he doesn't show up a lot. Frankie at least gets in there and competes. I don't know. I'll keep my ear to the ground and see who the fans want to see the most."

Miesha Tate
 vs. Ronda Rousey

Amanda Nunes can make a case for a title shot at UFC 200, but the UFC seems set on Tate's next challenger: Ronda Rousey.

"I think that Ronda now will fight Miesha Tate for the title. That's what's going to happen," said UFC president Dana White. "I texted Ronda and she said, 'What happened?' I said, 'Miesha just choked [Holly Holm] unconscious.' She said, 'Looks like I gotta get back to work.'"

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Though the former champ said she'd be returning to the cage in late 2016, she might cut those plans short to take on Tate at UFC 200 in hopes of regaining the belt. Rousey was devastated after her KO loss to Holm at UFC 193, but having two decisive wins already over Tate might give her the confidence to step back into the cage earlier than expected.


Nate Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler/Rafael dos Anjos 

The younger Diaz just went from late replacement to UFC's must-watch fighter. It would be a shame not to put him on the UFC 200 card, and after Diaz's win at welterweight over McGregor, Dana White says that Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler for the 170-lbs division strap "makes a lot of sense."

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Nate's older brother Nick knocked Lawler out in highlight reel fashion back in 2004, providing an interesting backstory for this welterweight showdown. However, if Diaz prefers to fight at lightweight, where he's been most successful, then he could vie for the belt instead, even if current champ Rafael dos Anjos already has a win over him. The Cesar Gracie protégé's stock is riding high right now; ball's in your court, Mr. Diaz.

Holly Holm vs. Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes

A massive stage like UFC 200 would be an ideal place to set up the next challenger to the winner of Tate vs. Rousey. You could book Holm vs. Zingano, Holm vs. Nunez, or Zingano vs. Nunez, and they would all be interesting title eliminators.

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UFC matchmakers, you have four months. Let the countdown to UFC 200 begin.


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