While Conor McGregor is out of UFC 200, his scheduled opponent Nate Diaz is still down to scrap. Dana White told ESPN on Tuesday evening, he and his team will be looking for a new opponent for Diaz in the coming days. The financial implications of removing McGregor from the card could be massive after the company bet the welterweight rematch between the featherweight champion and Diaz would generate two-million in PPV sales. Now the UFC needs to find an opponent who can help make up the PPV deficit created by McGregor’s absence. After scouring the UFC roster, here are the three fighters who are best suited to step in to face Nate Diaz at UFC 200
Georges St. Pierre: The rumors of Georges St. Pierre’s return to the UFC have been picking up steam lately. The former welterweight champion said his team has been talking to the UFC about a return, but the negotiations hit a snag due to the Reebok sponsorship deal. GSP also hasn’t decided if he wants to make a run at Robbie Lawler’s UFC title or just take compelling super fights. A potential Diaz vs. GSP super fight would generate a great deal of fan interest and would go a long way in salvaging UFC 200. There is history between the two fighters since GSP defeated Nate’s brother Nick at UFC 158 in March 2013.
Rafael Dos Anjos: Diaz lost an uninspired, one-sided unanimous decision to current lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos in December 2014. Diaz went into the fight coming off a one-year hiatus and was upset about his contract situation with the UFC, which likely contributed to missing weight and his lackadaisical performance. Since their fight, Dos Anjos defeated Anthony Pettis to win the title and finished Donald Cerrone in the first round this past December. Both fighters have improved greatly since their first fight and Diaz will come in more motivated and a much better attitude than he did for their first fight. While Dos Anjos is already scheduled to face Eddie Alvarez on a UFC Fight Pass card on July 7th, the money move might be to shift Dos Anjos onto the UFC 200 card to face Nate Diaz.
Robbie Lawler: Dana White thought Nate Diaz getting a shot at the welterweight champion Robbie Lawler made a lot of sense after his impressive showing at UFC 196. The excitement died down as Diaz stated the welterweight division belonged to his brother Nick and Lawler has been scheduled to face Tyron Woodley at UFC 201. Again, the UFC might need to shift fights around to help drive the PPV numbers for UFC 200, so don’t be shocked if a title fight between Lawler and Diaz is made. While Lawler isn’t a big smack talker, he will stand toe-to-toe with the red hot Diaz and put on a show for the fans. Lawler also has history with the Diaz family. Big brother Nick Diaz knocked Lawler out way back at UFC 47 in 2004.