UFC 196 just lost one half of its headlining fight. Rafael Dos Anjos will be forced to withdraw from his lightweight title fight against Conor McGregor due to a broken foot he suffered late last week.
The UFC is scrambling to find a replacement less than two weeks before the start of the event. So far, there is no indication of who that might be.
Reports in Brazil say Rafael dos Anjos has broken his foot and is out of his fight with Conor McGregor #UFC
— N. Martin Domin (@martin_domin) February 23, 2016
McGregor’s bid to make UFC history is temporarily put on pause. Should he win the title fight at UFC 196, McGregor will become the sport’s first fighter to hold two championship belts simultaneously. McGregor is the promotion’s current featherweight champion.
However, McGregor is no stranger to last-minute changes in opponent. This is the fourth time in eight UFC fights that his original opponent has withdrawn from the contest. Just last summer at UFC 189, McGregor’s opponent Jose Aldo withdrew 11 days prior to the match. The UFC responded by quickly booking Chad Mendes for the fight.
Anjos, 31, had won his past five fights, most recently a title defense last December against Donald Cerrone in which he scored a TKO victory in 66 seconds. He won the light heavyweight title from Anthony Pettis last March at UFC 185.
The card is set for March 5, and will take place in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. In the co-main event, Holly Holm will defend her UFC women’s bantamweight title for the first time versus Miesha Tate.