Postal Connections: MMA Legal in NYC, McGregor-Diaz 2

Tuesday was a big day for the sport of mixed martial arts. When New York became the last state to legalize MMA competition, the final domino fell in a long hard fight waged by many people -- some long forgotten -- who put in the time and effort to see that a sport they so loved would be recognized and regulated in a professional manner.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship and their deep pockets deserve a whole lot of credit, but I will always look back with fondness when I think of the people who were showing up at commission meetings in California long before it was ever legalized here on the left coast. The standards they came up with were adopted by New Jersey in September 2000 and became the basis of the “unified rules” that are in place across the globe today.

This fight really goes back to the 90s and without all the tireless work put in, there would have never been a foundation for the UFC to prosper. Let’s all say a big thank you to all who helped make this day happen.

Without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s questions.

Who do you think will headline the first card in NYC, and how soon we can expect it to happen: after the 120 days, of course?‬
- @theCyrildotcom

It is hard to imagine a UFC in Madison Square Garden without some big New York draws but I’m not sure they are going to need them to sell that place out. I’m guessing that one of the company’s superstars, either Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey will be somewhere near the top of the bill and either Jon Jones or Chris Weidman (both New York natives) will be up there with them.

I’d also imagine the card will go down in either November or early December. The state is going to need to get their regulations and procedures in place, train officials and prepare to oversee their first event; it will not happen overnight.

This event has been a long time coming and I’m sure the UFC, MSG and the New York State Athletic Commission will want to get things dialed in before they rush into anything.

I have to say, I’m pretty curious to see how they book the card. This has been a bit of a vanity play for the UFC, not being legal in New York never really hurt their wallet but, like with everything they do, they play to win. I have a feeling they are going to try to blow the doors off of the Garden with a card stacked with talent and stars.

With UFC 200 going down in July, MMA fans should be pretty excited to see a pair of mega-cards coming their way in the second half of 2016.

Maybe you can give us a plausible explanation as to why they want to do Mac/Diaz at 170 again instead of 155?‬
- @mac_attackMMA

Mac Diaz 2 makes no sense. Appears to be a clear squeeze the juice out of Conor at 170 play / money grab.‬
- @JohnBert07

So Aldo, Edgar and RDA sit out UFC 200 just because of a fight irrelevant to 3 divisions?‬
- @hansandstuff

OK, I grouped these questions together because they, more or less, cover the same topic: Why in the hell is Conor McGregor fighting Nate Diaz again and at 170 to boot?

I tried to explain my thoughts on why the company would re-book a fight that seems unwinnable for one of their big-time earners and the best I could come up with was that the first fight did a mammoth pay-per-view number. Add in the fact that superstars in combat sports seem to have no expiration date and voila, you have UFC 200 headlined by the unlikely rematch.

As for the 170-pound limit for the fight, I just don’t get it. Other than McGregor wanting to prove his doubters wrong, it really doesn’t make much sense. His power didn’t seem to translate to welterweight and he looked like a completely different fighter at the weight. He gassed pretty badly, which was likely due to not being in as good of shape as he has been at 145 pounds. It seems his sweet spot weight-class wise is going to be lightweight, so why not do this fight at 155?

I understand why some fans are upset with the booking. A guy like Frankie Edgar has got to be shaking his head, wondering what he has to do to get a crack at the Irishman. Aldo, one of the most dominant champions we’ve ever seen can’t get a rematch either. I’m sure it is frustrating.

The problem for those guys is McGregor is the biggest draw in the sport alongside Rousey, and those kinds of fighters will always have significantly more say than guys like Edgar and Aldo. As for Rafael dos Anjos, he still has his belt and will get his crack if McGregor ever has any semblance of success at lightweight.

Remember folks, at the end of the day this is a business and if McGregor is the primary mover in the pay-per-view market then he will always get what he wants -- within reason -- from the promoter.

Where does Jones go if he loses to DC in a month? Instant rubber match? Also, how come it's been so quiet between them?
- @jaypettry

First off, I know this is a hypothetical but I just don’t see any way Jon Jones loses this fight. I’m a huge Daniel Cormier guy, but what did anyone see in the first fight that leads them to believe Jones is vulnerable?

Hell, for all we know this is going to be a new, improved version of Jones, hell-bent on showing the world he is still the best fighter on earth. I’m expecting post-rape scandal Kobe or Patrick Kane here. You know, the guys who show up and ball out of their mind when they return from a messy situation hoping people will forget all about the past because of their performance.

Let’s not forget this is a guy who was popped for the white medicine about a month out of his last fight with D.C. He has had issues with keeping his partying in check during camps and I’m sure that has affected his performances in the past. Truthfully, I expect him to finish Cormier this time out.

That said, yes, he would get an immediate rematch, probably at MSG, if Cormier can pull off a miraculous upset. The only other option would be to move up to heavyweight but I don’t see that happening until he has returned the UFC light heavyweight strap to it’s rightful place: around his waist.

Sherdog.com Executive Editor Greg Savage can be reached by email or Twitter @TheSavageTruth. If you would like to have your question or comment answered in the weekly Postal Connections mailbag, please submit them by Wednesday evening each week.
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