MANILA, Philippines – UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos has been forced to withdraw from his much-awaited encounter against featherweight titleholder Conor McGregor in the headliner of the UFC 196 pay-per-view event on March 6 (March 5 in US) due to an injury.
Brazilian news outlet Globo reported that Dos Anjos has suffered a broken foot in the final days leading up to his blockbuster bout with McGregor, which is set to happen at the 16,800-seater MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rappler tried to reach the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization for confirmation, but UFC officials declined to comment.
Dos Anjos captured the lightweight title when he outpointed Anthony Pettis in March 2015 and then successfully defended the 155-pound weight class’ top prize by stopping Donald Cerrone in just 66 seconds 9 months later.
On the other hand, McGregor ended the nearly 5-year reign of Jose Aldo as UFC’s featherweight champion by knocking out his Brazilian rival this past December.
The 27-year-old Irishman finished the job in just 13 seconds, earning the feat of fastest championship victory in UFC history by dropping Aldo with a counter left hook before polishing him off with hammerfists on the mat.
McGregor, who was hoping to become the first UFC fighter to hold two world titles at the same time, finds himself in a familiar situation as Aldo pulled out two weeks before their clash in July 2015.
At the moment, it remains uncertain if McGregor will remain on the card versus a short-notice opponent. – Rappler.com