English UFC bantamweight fighter Brad “One Punch” Pickett isn’t a fan of the rematch between featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at July 9th’s UFC 200.
Speaking on the Obviously Fight Talk podcast on Sunday, the WEC and UFC veteran shared his thoughts on the scheduled rematch.
“I’ll be brutally honest, I’m disappointed that he’s [McGregor] actually getting a rematch with him [Diaz], and I don’t know why it’s at 170lbs,” he said. “For me, it’s a pointless fight.”
McGregor and Diaz first clashed at UFC 196 on March 5th of this year. The pay-per-view’s was original headliner was McGregor competing for the UFC lightweight title against champion Rafael dos Anjos; however, just a week out from the event, dos Anjos was forced to withdraw due to reported broken left foot.
The deck was shuffled and Diaz was drawn. The fight was on – McGregor vs. Diaz fighting in the 170lbs division, two divisions north from where the McGregor holds gold. Diaz emerged victor, finishing McGregor by submission in the second round.
Despite the featherweight champion winning the first round, Pickett doesn’t see any reason why the immediate rematch should happen.
“Honestly, I love Conor, but I don’t see why he’s getting a rematch,” he stated. “Yes, he was beating the crap out of him in the first round, and then got beat in the second round. But then you look at the other fight, he was getting beaten up by Chad Mendes, and then beat him in the second round, so Chad Mendes didn’t get a rematch and that was for an Interim belt.”
Although Pickett displayed plenty of admiration for SBG Ireland product during the interview – stating that he’s the one of the only fighters whose press conferences he will take the time to watch – he questions whether the fight might be one for McGregor’s ego.
“I don’t see why you need to do that immediate rematch apart from Conor’s ego, you know?” he said. “Obviously it’s been dented and he wants to fill that hole, you know? And, obviously, because he has so much power, selling power, he can call the shots a little bit, but then I think UFC have created that monster.”
Following his loss at UFC 196, it was expected that McGregor would return to 145lbs to defend his featherweight championship against either Frankie Edgar or Jose Aldo. Fast forward a few weeks and all the men will be on the same fight card.
At UFC 200, on the same pay-per-view where McGregor will look to avenge his lone-UFC loss, Edgar and Aldo will compete to crown the Interim featherweight champion. The winner of that fight is then scheduled to fight McGregor at a later date to unify the titles.
However, Pickett wonders what will happen if McGregor or Diaz gets injured prior to UFC 200, and everything doesn’t fall into place for the UFC.
“Just say one of them get injured, then what? Are they gonna wait a bit longer?” he asked. “It’s a fight outside of a weight class, you know? I know that Conor says that he will defend his belt and fight multiple times, but it’s the fight game and you can’t always work that way. Injuries happen.”