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As Yogi Berra famously said, it’s déjà vu all over again.
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor wanted to become the first UFC fighter to hold two world titles at the same time, but it looks like he might have to wait to fulfill that destiny after his March 5th bout with lightweight strap holder Rafael dos Anjos at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas was called off. Anjos suffered a foot injury last week, which mean’s he’s a no-go for UFC 196. Assuming a suitable opponent is found in time, McGregor will enter UFC 196 having done virtually no preparation for his new opponent. Donald Cerrone, who won on Sunday night in Pittsburgh, and Nate Diaz have been mentioned as possible opponents to step in on short notice.
The outspoken Irish fighter has been in a similar situation before. McGregor was triumphant at UFC 189 when he defeated Chad Mendes by second round TKO after original opponent Jose Aldo pulled out because of a rib injury.
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Whether or not a suitable matchup materializes, the event should still draw a lot of attention. Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate is the co-main event and has some interesting implications regarding Ronda Rousey’s possible UFC return later this year.
Earlier today, McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, posted this on Twitter:
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) February 23, 2016
McGregor just arrived in Las Vegas this week, and posted this on Instagram:
The hunt for gold is still firmly on. Once he has a confirmed opponent, it will be interesting to see what mind games McGregor will employ to hype up the fight so he can keep PPV numbers up to bolster his bank account.
For Dos Anjos, there will be no “red panty night” moment on March 5, that opportunity will now fall to someone else.