Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2 is finally official for UFC 200, and featherweight standouts Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, who were campaigning for a shot at "The Notorious", will battle for the interim belt on July 9.
Aldo defeated Edgar via unanimous decision at UFC 156, and whoever wins the rematch will earn a shot at McGregor next.
"We were expecting the fight with Conor fight, but we can’t live to mourn," Aldo’s coach and manager Andre Pederneiras told MMAFighting.com. "Aldo has a date and a fight booked, and it’s for the interim belt, so let’s work to win this title and fight Conor again.
"Both fighters have evolved a lot (since UFC 156)," he added. "It’s going to be interesting to see how they both prepare for each other in this new fight."
The Brazilian featherweight reigned supreme as the best featherweight between 2009 and 2015, and Pederneiras believes that his bout with Edgar should be for the undisputed belt since McGregor is healthy and cleared to compete, but insists in fighting outside the division.
"Of course!" said Pederneiras, who didn’t complain about the interim tag. "Our goal is the title. Like we made clear previously, we would only fight for the title, and that’s what’s happening now.
"About Conor vs. Diaz, I don’t have much to say. The UFC owners know the reasons (why it’s happening) and I can’t say anything about that because I have a business too and I do what has to be done so my company brings me the biggest profit possible."
It might be a business decision, but Pederneiras doesn’t expect McGregor to succeed at 170 pounds.
"(It will be) tougher than the first one," he said of McGregor vs. Diaz. "I think Conor will control more his impulse to get the knockout so he doesn’t gas again, but even if he wins, which I don’t think will happen, he’s way smaller than the athletes in this division, and I’m not even talking about the champion. For an example, a fight between him and Demian (Maia), who is a big guy for the division since he came from 185 pounds, Conor’s chances at defeating guys in this division are really low."