[title_box title=”Dos Anjos pulls out of UFC 196″]
Current UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos has pulled out of his title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC 196. The fight was slated to be the main event on March 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but now the promotion is searching for another fighter that can take on McGregor on short notice.
The event was being promoted as a chance for McGregor to make history. He is seeking to become the first UFC fighter to ever hold belts simultaneously in two different weight classes. This chase has been postponed after the news broke on Monday that Dos Anjos had broken his foot in training late last week. The rest of the fight card is relatively thin, outside of the fight between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate for the women’s bantamweight title.
The UFC has reportedly already been informed that the top featherweight contender, Frankie Edgar, is not an option face McGregor on short notice due to an injury picked up in training. Former champion Jose Aldo has also turned down a rematch with McGregor after being knocked out in the opening seconds of their title fight in December. The top two candidates to replace Dos Anjos are lightweight contenders Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz.
Cerrone is coming off of a first-round submission win over the weekend, but the fight was at welterweight, so the weight cut may be an issue. The outspoken Diaz is coming off of a win in December over ranked Michael Johnson, where he called out McGregor in a profanity-laced interview after the fight.
Both are intriguing options, but the UFC may very well put McGregor on the shelf until Dos Anjos is healthy. A fight against another opponent on short notice could put McGregor’s attempt at holding two belts at risk. However, when Aldo pulled out of UFC 189 against McGregor, the UFC replaced him with Chad Mendes. An official announcement on the state of the fight and the possibility of a replacement is expected to be made in the next day or two.
Edited by Nathan Odom
Featured image by Andrius Petrucenia