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5 title fights, 3 events and a Conor McGregor press conference - it's the UFC's biggest week yet

There’s plenty on the menu for MMA fans over the coming days.

THE UFC SELDOM hesitate to bill the next offering of their product as the biggest and the best there’s ever been, but this is one of the rare occasions when the superlatives are probably justified.

This is International Fight Week on the UFC’s calendar, for which the organisation has got three shows lined up — as well as a host of fan events — in Las Vegas over the course of the next seven days.

NHL Las Vegas The new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will play host to UFC 200 on Saturday night. Source: John Locher

It all culminates with UFC 200 on Saturday night, which was due to be headlined by Conor McGregor’s rematch with Nate Diaz until the Dubliner butted heads with UFC bosses after refusing to travel to Las Vegas for a press conference to promote the fight back in April.

Rather ironically, the first big attraction of the week is Thursday’s press conference at the MGM Grand involving McGregor and Diaz, whose rescheduled second meeting will now take place at UFC 202 in Vegas on Saturday, 20 August.

The UFC needed to produce something special to fill the McGregor-shaped hole that was subsequently left in an event they’ve been promising would be their biggest ever for the past couple of years. To their credit, with UFC 200 now just days away, not even the fussiest of fans could complain about the card.

Topping this week’s line-up instead is the eagerly-anticipated light-heavyweight title unification bout between reigning champion Daniel Cormier and interim title-holder Jon Jones, but the ace up the UFC’s sleeve in terms of pay-per-view income is the return of WWE star and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who faces Mark Hunt.

Elsewhere on Saturday’s bill, Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar will fight for the interim featherweight title — and, most importantly, the right to be Conor McGregor’s inaugural title challenger at 145lbs, should he ever defend the belt.

The other title fight at UFC 200 will be Miesha Tate’s first bantamweight defence against Amanda Nunes, and that’s before we even mention the plethora of excellent match-ups that have flown under the radar, three of which feature former UFC champions — Cain Velasquez, Johny Hendricks and TJ Dillashaw.

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

The action begins on Thursday night with UFC Fight Night 90, featuring Donegal’s Joseph Duffy and headlined by the clash of lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and challenger Eddie Alvarez. Friday night’s finale of the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter will be topped by a rematch between strawweight title-holder Joanna Jedrzejczyk and opposing coach Claudia Gadelha.

Here are the highlights of what’s in store this week…

Wednesday

UFC 200 press conference… featuring Dana White, Daniel Cormier, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, Mark Hunt, Miesha Tate, Amanda Nunes, Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne — 8pm (live on UFC.com).

Thursday

UFC 202 press conference… featuring Dana White, Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor — 7.30pm (live on UFC.com).

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UFC Fight Night 90 — 11.30pm (live on UFCFightPass.com)

maxresdefault Source: UFC

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez
Roy Nelson vs. Derrick Lewis
Alan Jouban vs. Belal Muhammad
Joseph Duffy vs. Mitch Clarke
Mike Pyle vs. Alberto Mina
John Makdessi vs. Mehdi Baghdad
Anthony Birchak vs. Dileno Lopes
Russell Doane vs. Pedro Munhoz
Felipe Arantes vs. Jerrod Sanders
Gilbert Burns vs. Łukasz Sajewski
Marco Beltrán vs. Reginaldo Vieira
Vicente Luque vs. Alvaro Herrera

Friday

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale — 12am (Friday night/Saturday morning, live on BT Sport 2)

Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. Cláudia Gadelha
TUF 23 light-heavyweight final (TBD)
TUF 23 strawweight final (TBD)
Ross Pearson vs. Will Brooks
Doo Ho Choi vs. Thiago Tavares
Joaquim Silva vs. Andrew Holbrook
Gray Maynard vs. Fernando Bruno
John Moraga vs. Matheus Nicolau
Cezar Ferreira vs. Anthony Smith
Jake Matthews vs. Kevin Lee
Li Jingliang vs. Anton Zafir

Saturday

UFC 200 Jones Cormier Mixed Martial Arts The rematch of Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier headlines UFC 200. Source: AP/Press Association Images

UFC 200 early prelims — 11.30pm (live on UFCFightPass.com)

Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Lauzon
Gegard Mousasi vs. Thiago Santos
Jim Miller vs. Takanori Gomi

UFC 200 TV prelims — 1am (live on BT Sport 2)

Cat Zingano vs. Julianna Peña
Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum
TJ Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assunção
Sage Northcutt vs. Enrique Marín

UFC 200 main card — 3am (live on BT Sport 2)

Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones
Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt
Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar
Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne

‘The UFC has created Conor McGregor… I think sometimes he forgets that’ – Jones

Conor McGregor to bring one of Ireland’s top amateur boxers to Vegas for Diaz training camp

About the author:

Paul Dollery

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